Ecommerce and prepared foods have become increasingly important to the supermarket industry, with prepared foods up 9.3% year over year in 2022 and 19.2% from the pre-pandemic period, according to the 2022 FMI Power of Foodservice at Retail report. Ecommerce is up by similar ratios.
The rise of ecommerce is well known. Online shopping has had a significant impact on the supermarket industry, as many customers now prefer to shop online rather than in-store. Supermarkets have responded to this trend by offering online grocery ordering, store pickup and delivery services. Many supermarkets have developed their own mobile apps, allowing customers to browse and purchase products directly from their smartphones.
Only slightly less well known is the growing popularity of prepared foods, as more and more customers are looking for quick and convenient meal solutions. Supermarkets have responded to this trend by offering a wider variety of prepared foods, including deli meats, salads, sushi, and hot meals. Some supermarkets even have their own in-store cafes and restaurants, where customers can enjoy freshly prepared meals on site.
The combination of prepared foods and grocery ecommerce is a natural. Ecommerce allows customers to purchase groceries and other items from the convenience of their homes and have them delivered or pick them up at the store. Prepared foods are the very definition of convenience and are now available for purchase in the supermarket as they are at restaurants.
While the need for a strong prepared food offering to go along with a strong ecommerce offering for supermarkets predates the pandemic, the last three years have heightened that requirement. Now, more than ever, the supermarket operator must understand what their customers want and when they want it, and they want prepared foods and other meal solutions, and they want these items to be available through online shopping for store pickup or home delivery.
It is clear that the combination of these trends will become even more important, and supermarkets will need to continue adapting in order to meet the changing needs of their customers. As technology continues to evolve, and new processes and tools deployed make it easier for retailers to meet those changing demands, the industry can pursue an even greater share of the food wallet.
There are several solutions available to help supermarket operators take advantage of these trends, including everything that makes prepared foods different from packaged foods and other fresh foods. These include random weight capabilities, dating and spoilage, heating instructions and even packaging. Retailers venturing into ecommerce grocery and online prepared foods need to partner with vendors that have expertise in the area, as well as a proven track record of providing solutions that address the specific challenges they will face.
eGrowcery helps retailers meet their digital shopping requirements while avoiding the risks of marketplace solutions They also have the specific experience to help companies take advantage of the combined opportunity of ecommerce and prepared foods –
If you’d like to learn more from the eGrowcery team, you can request a demo to see the benefits for yourself!