Keeping pace with retail consumer preferences is one of the most challenging aspects of moving produce, and it’s a good idea not only to keep one’s ear to the ground but also to keep one’s foot on the gas pedal – you have to move fast when you hear the latest demand.
One emerging trend is online shopping with either home delivery or curbside pickup, and as retailers move to adapt to that change by dealing directly with providers, produce industry insiders are keeping a close eye on what might be needed on the packing and shipping end of the equation.
In a recently posted story entitled “Experts: As Consumer Tastes Change Traditional Supermarkets Must Evolve Or Perish” found at http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/01/28/experts-as-consumer-tastes-change-traditional-supermarkets-must-evolve-or-perish/, the potential impact on retail was explained thus:
“Fresh produce, dairy, and meat from local farms and ranches now makes its way directly into the hands of customers through Our Harvest, a farm to table service that cuts out the middle man.”
The story also said that farm fresh grocers are expanding in numbers “as traditional supermarkets vanish,” adding, “A&P closed or sold nearly 300 stores last year including Pathmarks and Waldbaums, while specialty food stores and internet delivery services thrived thanks to changing tastes and lifestyles.”
Organics and “buy local” movements are market segments “to be reckoned with,” according to one interview conducted by the reporter, and the story went on to say, “Stop And Shop which bought up many of the closed supermarkets told CBS2 the industry is evolving quickly and they’re evolving along with more locally grown and organic produce, delivery and pick up services. Retail experts said supermarkets that don’t evolve could face extinction.”
OnionBusiness.com attended the Jan. 19 Idaho Department of Agriculture’s annual meeting in Boise and was fortunate to catch comments from Walmart Market Manager Tory Nichols, who said,
“More and more, consumers are looking for better ways to maximize their time, and many are looking to online grocery shopping to do that. Walmart has had proven success in the markets where we have introduced this concept, and we will be adding more pickup and delivery locations across the country.”
Nichols noted that produce is more challenging, saying, “With produce, it can be tricky for pickup and delivery because historically consumers like to select produce themselves. Our goal is to ensure that the produce that goes into the pickup or delivery bag is of the quality our customers would expect if that had hand-picked it in-store. So far, our success rates indicate we are doing just that.”
Walmart’s online resource can be checked out at https://grocery.walmart.com/usd-estore/help/helppageslinkscontainer.jsp, where the Walmart Grocery pickup and delivery service is explained.
“Simply place an order online at walmart.com/grocery, choose a timeslot, and your order will be loaded directly into your car at your local Walmart, or in some markets, you can have your order delivered right to your doorstep,” the site says.
For a quick look at other retailers who are providing online shopping convenience, visit https://shop.safeway.com/ecom/home where the chain offers one-hour delivery windows and same day delivery for orders made before 8:30 a.m.
Personalized service is available at lundsaandbyerlys.com, with a
fact sheet found at https://lundsandbyerlys.com/help/online-shopping-faqs/. Special instructions can be given to the personal shopper, i.e. “I prefer green bananas.”
And at https://giantfood.com/shopping/shop-online/ you’ll be introduced to Peapod grocery delivery service.
Pickup and delivery changes are happening. Are we ready?