It seems like services that help folks simplify their lives are the most compelling growth opportunities. This is why we need to start important conversations about new ways to serve shoppers. Here are two areas I think hold real potential for food retailers: health services and meal kits.
Digital health tools, including wearables like Fitbit, are changing the way health information is delivered — you may be wearing one right now. There’s a lot of talk about medicine going “retail,” so why can’t food retailers connect digitally to serve some of their customers’ health needs? Tying this to pharmacy is probably a good place to start. You probably already offer some form of blood pressure monitoring, so taking the next step shouldn’t be too difficult. To shoppers, it will seem like a logical move.
When the co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, is talking about ways to better serve the health needs of his employees and customers, you know change is coming and motivation is strong.
Companies like Blue Apron, Plated and Hello Fresh are taking the idea of selling meal solutions to the next level. Their meal kits are generating sales so large that they’re even surprising themselves. Blue Apron delivers a complete meal kit to customers’ doors. The promise is simplicity itself: No planning, no shopping, no schlepping — just a single choice you’re cooking. Blue Apron’s relatively high cost (approximately $9.99 per two person) doesn’t seem to slow demand even as they add a four-person family plan.
This could be a good business for food retailers — and a way to better satisfy the needs of time-starved consumers. The ingredients are already at hand; learning how to assemble them profitably is the next step. Publix is making this offer with Aprons, so there’s clearly room for growth in supermarkets.
Here’s to making life simpler for customers — whether it’s in health, medicine or cooking! Simplicity is a compelling concept that can be interpreted and applied in many ways, especially when it comes to food retailing.
How else can supermarkets simplify customers’ lives?