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·         A food world ‘changing at incredible speed’ will see grocery stores and restaurants adapting in 2018

… “The food world around us is changing at incredible speed, and we must evolve,” said grocery industry consultant Phil Lempert…

 

·         What Will Grocery Shopping Look Like in 2018?

It's going to be more and more about giving customers what they want.

 

 

A food world ‘changing at incredible speed’ will see grocery stores and restaurants adapting in 2018

 

By Barbara Soderlin, Omaha World-Herald (NE)

Dec 29, 2017

 

Chances are your mother did all the family grocery shopping, pushing a cart around the same store week in and week out, buying the same ingredients for the same rotation of meals.

 

Buying food that way is a distant memory for most households, and the pace of change will only pick up in the new year.

 

Food manufacturers, retailers and restaurants are fighting for fickle shoppers’ food dollars by rolling out new technology, cooking methods, store concepts, flavors and ingredients.

 

“The food world around us is changing at incredible speed, and we must evolve,” said grocery industry consultant Phil Lempert.

 

Here’s what observers say to expect from grocery stores and restaurants in 2018.

 

Grocery shopping

 

Grocery stores are making it faster and easier for you to put dinner on the table. Consumers want to cook but are strapped for time, NPD Group restaurant analyst Bonnie Riggs writes.

 

This year, more stores, including Kroger, Family Fare and Walmart locations, will carry meal kits, no subscription required. Family Fare recently launched a new line of pre-cut produce, something other chains also carry.

 

Target, which acquired delivery service Shipt, and other retailers will add online ordering services, with pickup or delivery options.

 

And grocery stores will look increasingly like restaurants, with prepared food stations and in-house restaurants called “grocerants.” In some cases, grocery stores are going into the real restaurant business — Iowa-based Hy-Vee and Michigan supermarket chain Meijer both will open Wahlburgers restaurants, a burger chain founded by actor Mark Wahlberg and his brothers.

 

Plants

 

Plant-based diets are moving into the mainstream.

 

Vegetables will continue to replace carbs — think cauliflower “rice” and zucchini noodles, the National Restaurant Association says. Olive Garden, for example, is adding a spiral-cut squash pasta dish to its menu this January.

 

Plants are increasingly replacing meat, too. More fine dining menus will showcase meatless options, food industry marketing agency THP expects. Fresh Thyme grocery stores say they carry a barbecue flavor jackfruit that is a substitute for pulled pork.

 

And more plant-based and even “lab-grown” meats are on the horizon at the supermarket, thanks to big-dollar investments from venture capitalists and packaged foods companies, says Mintel, a market research firm.

 

Plant ingredients are proliferating in cheese and ice cream products, too, the Specialty Food Association says.

 

Meat

 

No one’s writing off meat, though. Consumption is growing, and chefs are innovating. They’re serving “butcher cuts” like beef shank and top sirloin cap, and pork collar and skirt steak. Butcher cuts are “on trend and inexpensive,” the National Restaurant Association says. Iowa-based Fareway Stores expanded its meat-centric Fareway Meat Market concept to Lincoln this year.

 

Local sourcing of meat is still important for restaurant diners, especially millennials, the group says.

 

Game meat, leaner and flavorful, is gaining on menus, THP says. Look for elk, ostrich, quail and pheasant. Fresh Thyme grocery stores carry frozen elk, venison and bison.

 

Flavors ...

 

Ingredients ...

 

Experience ...

 

Alternative Sugars ...

 

Sustainability ...

 

Technology takeover ...

 

Hot or not? ...

 

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What Will Grocery Shopping Look Like in 2018?

It's going to be more and more about giving customers what they want.

 

Daniel B. Kline, The Motley Fool

Dec 29, 2017

 

How Americans buy nearly everything has begun to change. People no longer simply drive to a nearby store and buy what they need. Instead, most things can be ordered online, and that has impacted the entire retail sector.

 

The supermarket/grocery business has already felt some of these changes. Going forward, however, the pace of change is going to pick up. That means that services like same-day delivery, which numerous regional chains as well as Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Whole Foods, and Amazon itself offer in select markets, are likely to expand. In addition, other ideas that make shopping easier will be implemented, according to GroceryStories.com John Karolefski.

 

"Consumers can expect a focus on convenience as grocers make shopping easier and more enjoyable in 2018," he said in a press release, laying out some of the top trends to expect in the new year. Karolefski, who spent 15 years as senior editor of Supermarket News, has covered the grocery/supermarket business for 25 years.

 

What trends are coming?

 

More shopping options: This year, Costco added both same-day delivery through Instacart and two-day delivery for orders from a limited number of items on orders over $75. In addition, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Target (NYSE: TGT) tested curbside pickup and various other methods to make ordering online and picking up in store easier.

 

Expect more of this in 2018, says Karolefski, with new ideas being tested and chains starting to see what works. There will be heavy trial and error here and what consumers want may vary greatly by market and geography.

 

Mobile payment at checkout: This is already being done at progressive retailers like Whole Foods. Expect other national chains to follow with some offering more than one mobile payment choice.

 

More eating and drinking in stores ...

 

More meal kits ...

 

More access to product information ...

 

The customer is key ...

 

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https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/12/29/what-will-grocery-shopping-look-like-in-2018.aspx