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4 Trends Shaping the Grocery Industry in 2024


he grocery industry is in a constant state of evolution, influenced by evolving consumer shopping habits, inflation, and technological innovations. Staying informed about this dynamic industry is crucial for making informed business decisions, attracting and retaining customers, and driving business growth. Harnessing technology will become more critical for supermarkets to improve workflow and empower staff for better customer interactions.

Here’s a look at four grocery trends expected to shape the industry in 2024 and beyond.

Online Grocery Shopping Continues to Grow

The pandemic accelerated the shift to online grocery shopping, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. Sixty-one percent of consumers said they plan to shop for their groceries online in 2024, according to a survey from the Bank of America. More consumers will opt for the convenience of ordering groceries online, leading to increased investments in eCommerce platforms and last-mile delivery solutions. 

In 2024, expect to see sophisticated online platforms, offering intuitive user interfaces, real-time inventory updates, and personalized shopping suggestions based on dietary preferences and past purchases. Grocers will invest in delivery management technology to manage their deliveries more efficiently, adapt to fluctuations in demand, and enhance the customer experience. Successful grocers will continue to invest in personalization and omnichannel capabilities to attract, engage, and retain customers. 

grocery ecommerce
Sixty-one percent of consumers said they plan to shop for their groceries online in 2024, as convenience drives more consumers to online shopping.

Convenience-Driven Store Formats

Retailers are experimenting with smaller, neighborhood-focused store formats that emphasize convenience and will continue to do so next year. These stores will cater to grab-and-go shoppers and urban residents seeking high-quality food options. Opening smaller stores closer to customers also enables faster fulfillment and delivery services.

Regional grocer Wegmans is continuing its small-format store expansion next year with a new store opening next spring. The new store will feature all of the traditional departments Wegmans is known for, including restaurant foods, an abundant produce department; and a wide variety of seafood, meat, bakery, and wine options. Meijer is adding another banner to its portfolio by opening a smaller-format store called Fairfax Market in Cleveland next year. The new neighborhood market will carry a variety of everyday essentials and an in-store café.

Click-and-Collect Growth

Consumers value speedy, convenient, and reliable fulfillment services and will continue to do so next year. The number of click-and-collect buyers in the US will rise to 150.9 million in 2024, representing 53.1% of the population, according to eMarketer forecasts. US click-and-collect sales will grow 10.1% to reach $109.36 billion in 2024. Over three-quarters (78.7%) of those sales will come from grocery. 

In-store pickup customers will represent 64.4% of total US click-and-collect buyers in 2024, compared with 47.6% of curbside customers, according to a December 2022 forecast. Grocery retailers are continuing to expand their click-and-collect offerings with new deals and discounts. Food Lion has grown its grocery pickup service to 35 new stores in nine states. The service, known as Food Lion To Go, is now available at locations at roughly 90% of the chain’s operating area. The grocer is promoting the service by offering customers their first pickup for free.

grocery delivery
Retailers are continuing to expand their fulfillment networks and invest in new technologies to streamline fulfillment operations, improve workforce productivity, and shorten delivery times.

Fulfillment Network Expansion

As demand for quick and convenient fulfillment and delivery services continues to grow, retailers are continuing to expand their fulfillment networks and invest in new technologies to streamline fulfillment operations, improve workforce productivity, and shorten delivery times. Walmart recently opened its third next generation fulfillment center in Texas. The high-tech facility will enable the retailer to fulfill more orders, more quickly by using an automated, high-density storage and retrieval system that condenses the retailer’s 12-step fulfillment process down to five steps.

Walmart plans to open its fifth next-generation fulfillment center in Stockton, California. The new facility will help the retailer handle online orders throughout the West Coast with more speed and efficiency. The upcoming facility builds on Walmart’s efforts to create facilities that boost the retailer’s delivery capabilities through an optimized process. In 2024, grocery retailers will continue to invest in fulfillment automation, optimizing last-mile delivery processes, and expanding fulfillment services across more locations.

By embracing technology, expanding delivery and fulfillment capabilities, and reinventing the shopping experience, grocers can meet customer expectations and expand their customer base. Retailers that adapt to these trends will not only meet consumer demands but also stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market. Shoppers can look forward to a grocery shopping experience that is more convenient, personalized, and enjoyable than ever before.

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