Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020 - 16

relay a range of concerns about online produce ordering,
including poor quality, shipping fees, food safety
concerns, and difficulty to browse.
Instore or ecommerce, consumers choose grocery
or foodservice when it comes to health. More than nine
out of 10, for instance, say at-home meals are healthier.
(Despite that fact, half eat at restaurants at least weekly.)

women tend to believe their influence on household
eating is stronger, while men tend to believe it's
equally shared.
An emerging area of wellness exploration is the
opportunity for personalized diets based on an
individual's gut microbiome, or the unique mix of
microbes in an individual's gut.
A number of companies provide nutrition advice
based on DNA and blood tests and microbiome profiling.
Experts say the research is promising, but that it's still
early days for this type of personalized diet approach
with many questions remaining, according to a
WebMD report.

Generational divides
Different generations view health and wellbeing
differently. The youngest shoppers, Gen Z, are the most
concerned about the healthfulness of their eating. 84% say
they would like to eat healthier, but two out of three eat
at restaurants at least one time a week.
The oldest members of Gen Z, now in their early- to
mid-20s, don't lack for knowledge about healthy eating,
but they tend to value factors such as convenience
for now.
Meanwhile, the behaviors of millennials, once
considered outliers and "disruptive," are increasingly
becoming the mainstream, according to The
Hartman Group.
"The purchasing behaviors and criteria of
millennials are moving mainstream simply because
the bulk of consumers - and the bulk of consumers
with families, who actually do more consuming than
anyone else - are younger," according to Hartman.
This means that companies need to be planning
for this shift. The things that have been positioned
as "engaged," "progressive," or "millennial" characteristics, are now mainstream - or soon will be.

Transparency
Forty-six percent of consumers say that openness and
honesty about business practices is very important
in their choice of a primary store, according to FMI's
2019 Trends research, and it appears that online
shopping platforms have an edge in this category.
Fifty-one percent of consumers say online retail
does an equal or better job with openness and
honesty, compared to only 39% saying the same
about regular supermarkets.
Consumers have strong expectations about
transparency from retailers and manufacturers and
how it relates to consumer trust. The latest research
from IFIC shows more than half of consumers say
the origin of food is highly important to them.
Other highly rated attributes are knowing a
manufacturer has a commitment to environmental
sustainability, being able to access information
about food production, getting information about
animal welfare considerations, and knowing
that food production involved modern farming
technologies.
"Shoppers are increasing their transparency
expectations, and retailers eye opportunities to
meet those needs," according to FMI. "Retailers indicate
that shoppers' demand for transparency positively
impacts sales and profits, according to respondents of
The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2019."

The things
that have been
positioned
as "engaged,"
"progressive,"
or "millennial"
characteristics,
are now
mainstream -
or soon will be.

More and more consumers continue to see food
as a way of addressing a wide range of health
conditions, according to FMI.
They're scrutinizing labels as they shop, weighing
a variety of diets and looking for local and organic
products to enhance their wellbeing. The food-asmedicine trend ranks number two on the list of factors
positively impacting sales and profits, according to FMI's
Speaks data.
And about one in four consumers now seek health
benefits from foods, according to the latest IFIC survey.
The top health benefits sought are weight loss, energy,
digestive health and heart/cardiovascular health.
Even as consumers identify which benefits they
desire, they're revising opinions on which attributes will
get them there. Fiber, whole grains, protein from plant
sources, Omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics top IFIC's
current list. Fiber and prebiotics in particular are scoring
higher compared to a year ago.
Generationally, older consumers are more likely than
younger ones to try to consume fiber and whole grains.

Advantage instore
For the near future at least, health and wellbeing needs
will be heavily centered on instore buying, compared to
ecommerce, especially for fresh foods, according to FMI.
That's because despite a constant media focus
on ecommerce growth, consumers are still buying
groceries mainly in physical stores. Currently, one in five
US shoppers is a regular online shopper, according to
consumer feedback.
Ecommerce is known for having fresh food
challenges. For example, instore-only produce shoppers
16 - JULY 2020

Food as medicine

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Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020

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