Consumer Demand < Expense Reduction Analysts

The Food and Beverage industry has a complicated balancing act ahead for 2020. Consumers are more interested in more organic food consumption than ever. However, digitizing the consumer experience is always a top priority. For this reason, there has been competing growth between grocery and digital fulfillment channels. Although consumer demand has shifted to a preference for fresh and local food sources, online accessibility is essential as well.  Organizations must find ways to cater to both demands without disrupting their supply chains.

Here are three ways grocery stores and restaurants are answering the charge for digital and organic food sources.

New Grocery Supply Chain Methods

The traditional grocery supply chain model is not meant to support online shopping. However, many grocery stores are including more organic and fresh options to satisfy demand. Nonetheless, there is still a gap in digital fulfillment. Grocery stores are usually not able to get fresh foods in-store in time to meet same-day delivery demands from consumers. For this reason, grocery stores may have to start experimenting with online shopping fulfillment hubs within the physical store 1 . For instance, a small-scale order fulfillment center may be the best short term option. Either way, grocery chains will need to find creative ways to keep an adequate inventory that simultaneously caters to walk in and online shoppers.

Shifting the Customer Loyalty Experience

Third-party order and delivery services have changed the way the food industry operates. Many consumers use online delivery options to fulfill their dining experience. Food delivery companies are catching on to the trend and offering incentives to their customers. As a result, there is an increased sense of brand loyalty to continue to use food delivery apps and online ordering methods. The continued growth of digital advancements has made it more convenient than ever for consumers to order food in various ways. Mobile ordering apps, self-checkouts, and on-site ordering kiosks are providing a consistently enticing user experience.

The Use of Multipurpose Bots

Voice technology has become increasingly more frequent in the food industry. Although one of the primary uses is to promote a smoother user experience, voice bots offer much more. For instance, voice commands and technology merge into today’s marketing strategies, phone ordering, drive-thrus, and inventory records. Now, voice recognition can assist in transforming the way consumers, restaurants and grocery stores function together. Expect voice command technology 2 to continue to evolve as we move into 2020.

Some organizations have been able to find the sweet spot between online shopping and more health conscious dining experience. Inventory, waste, and supply chain structures are just a few of the roadblocks that can impede the integration of these conflicting demands. Now is the time to determine successful strategies to give consumers what they want: shopping convenience and conscious menu options.


1 What Grocery Stores Must Do to Keep Up with Online Shopping by Lana Bandoim
2 The Future of Restaurant Tech: Serving the Next Course by Brita Rosenheim