Freedonia’s National Online Consumer Survey conducted in April and May 2020 found 74% of respondents saying they are minimizing time spend shopping and browsing in stores because of the coronavirus and 43% are buying groceries online more. These both indicate that opportunities exist in developing solutions that allow shoppers to get in and out of stores quickly and to minimize contact with store staff and other customers.
Along these lines, grocers have been making changes to their stores, including their prepared foods offerings:
- Grocery stores have shut down self-serve salad, soup, and other food bars. Some moved this type of food behind the deli counter (where a store worker can put the chosen food into containers) or offering it only in sealed to-go containers.
- Grocery stores have begun offering meals prepared by local restaurants, appealing to consumers who want a break from increased home cooking but aren’t yet ready to return to restaurants.
- Some grocers are using vending machines for fresh food, particularly for foods that might otherwise require interaction with a store worker
- Chowbotics is marketing its Sally robot – which can assemble made-to-order salads or other such food options – as an alternative to self-service salad bars in grocery stores and elsewhere
- Saladworks is among the restaurants opening franchise kiosks within grocery stores to take the place of self-serve food bars
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including new reports on Global Foodservice and Global Foodservice Single-Use Products. Additional information is also available in food reports available from The Freedonia Group’s sister publisher Packaged Facts, including Food Carryout & Delivery, Food Carryout & Delivery: Special COVID-19 Consumer Insights, and Food Market Outlook 2020: Home Cooking & Grocery Shopping in the Age of Coronavirus. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.