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yet figured out how to integrate grocery and prepared meal delivery.


Some chains have converted entire stores to online order fulfillment. Kroger recently announced plans for three more customer fulfillment centers in addition to five already on the drawing board. Ranging in size from 150,000 to more than 300,000 square feet, the CFCs will incorporate state-of-the-art automation and AI. But even smaller distribution centers are being tapped to fill consumer online orders, freeing up in-store picker traffic and saving restocking labor.


“Instacart has disrupted the grocery market the same way delivery first disrupted the restaurant industry,” Wasserstrom says.


“Restaurants are finding the solution in ghost kitchens, and I think we’ll see that same kind of shift in supermarkets to warehouses for online orders, with stores shrinking and stocking mostly fresh foods – meats, produce, seafood, etc. – and freshly prepared foods.”


That sort of format will require more foodservice planning and equipment. “Right now, we’re coming out of the fire- drill phase, and the future is unknown,” Chesney notes. “Grocers are wondering, self-serve or no? Masks or not? What they’re mostly looking for, besides PPE and supplies that will help keep their employees and customers safe, is anything that will help them operate more efficiently.”


New Growth in Supermarket Foodservice


66 percent of grocery operators said their foodservice sales increased in the last year.1


33 percent of consumers across all age groups say they buy prepared foods when grocery shopping.2


74 percent of grocery operators say they are trying to grow their prepared- foods departments.1


73 percent of consumers take their food to-go, 13 percent eat in-store and 14 percent order delivery.2


Younger adults (ages 23-34) are twice as likely as their older peers (55-plus) to say they’d like to see more in-store wine/craft beer bars or restaurants.3


74 percent of consumers say they are interested in ordering delivery from their favorite supermarket’s prepared department.1


Sources:


1. Datassential’s 2019 Supermarket Prepared Keynote Report. 2. Technomic’s 2019 Retail Foodservice Consumer Trend Report. 3. Mintel’s 2019 Executive Summary on Grocery Retailing


26 FEDA News & Views


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