Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 13

T

he pandemic continues to leave its mark on the grocery
retail industry, and the evolutions that occur in 2021 will
have a lasting impact, retailers, their supplier partners and
other industry experts agree.
" Retailers will elevate beyond simply providing products and look to
become the preferred meal solutions providers for their shoppers, " said
Andrew Moberly, director of category solutions for Stamford, Conn.based consultancy Daymon Worldwide. " The growth of e-commerce
needs, and in-store experience has created a need for an omnichannel
strategy that effectively engages the perimeter shopper. "
While consumers will slowly return to restaurants, he added,
factors including economic uncertainty and newly acquired cooking
skills will persuade a higher percentage of consumers to continue
preparing meals at home. Retailers that recognize this and engage
these customers should present a product and merchandising mix
that simplifies the home meal preparation experience while also keeps
them engaged through digital platforms.
Shoprite, for instance, recently launched its " Fresh to Table " concept,
which Moberly said was a pioneering approach on how to engage
consumers in the meal solutions space.
From an in-store standpoint, the lingering effects of the pandemic
will directly impact the merchandising strategies of deli/prepared,
Moberly said. While some retailers have re-opened their prepared, hot
bar and salad bars, most have decided to permanently remove them or
significantly alter their offerings.

In 2020 pre-packaged
deli entrees and side dishes
saw an 18% increase in sales,
far outpacing the 1% growth
the total department has
seen. " Andrew Moberly, Daymon Worldwide.
" This has led to an increased demand for pre-packaged deli, and
subsequently replacing the need for self-serve deli options at many
retailers, " he said. " In 2020 pre-packaged deli entrees and side dishes
saw an 18% increase in sales, far outpacing the 1% growth the total
department has seen. "
And look for pre-packaged deli programs to support e-commerce
efforts as UPC based items are easier to virtually merchandise and
retailers will want to retain those meal dollars gained during the
foodservice shutdowns in 2020.

Perimeter departments gear up for big changes
Rachel Shemirani, senior vice president for San Diego-based Barons
Market, said there's no doubt that the " stocking up " phenomenon
associated with the pandemic will lead to continued strong demand
for center-store staples.
supermarketperimeter.com

LINGERING
EFFECTS
A watchlist for retailers from Deloitte's Evan Sheehan
Heightened competition in the online grocery
space: The disruption caused by CPG companies may
create pressure on grocery channels for their market
share as well as a fight for consumer data to respond
to changes in consumer behavior and tastes going
forward.
Sustained category changes: Just as the SARS
epidemic in China prompted a sustained shift of health
and hygiene habits post pandemic, so may demand
continue 24+ months after the epidemic in healthrelated categories.
Vocal for local and sustainable: Concerns on
hygiene and contamination in grocery items have led
consumers to be conscious about product provenance,
while local vendors have benefitted from consumers
looking for fresh produce and supporting local
businesses amid tough times.
Store model re-alignment: Retailers have been
experimenting with new retail models that provide
economic incentives amid cash crunches as well as
best suit the new consumer needs. Pick-up hubs to
avoid queues inside stores, compact convenience for
cashier-less entry, and dark stores as fulfillment centers to save real estate costs on large formats are some
of the models that are likely to see wider adoption.
Safety concerns fueling the " contactless
concept " : The current scenario does not favor
retailers, who have been reliant on cash and have
refrained from investing into integrating digital
payments. Digital wallet apps and QR payment codes,
in particular, that provide a no-touch experience or
contactless payment options at stores are expected
to be the key contributors to a previously perceived
" gradual shift " to an " accelerated " or " seismic shift "
toward a cash-free economy.
Rise of private labels and portfolio consolidation: Rising unemployment rates and uncertain economic growth have led consumers to be careful about
their spending patterns and look for value-for-money
products. During the initial crisis period, consumers
bought more private labels and entry-price products
that have now become their go-to choices.

FEBRUARY 2021 - 13


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Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021

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Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 1
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