Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 11

F
or decades, the size and scope of the supermarket perimeter
have grown by leaps and bounds. Much of that growth wouldn't
have been possible without groundbreaking technological
innovations -both in the aisles and behind the counters.
From both the retailer's and the consumer's vantage points, perimeter
technology has made huge strides, said Rick Stein, vice president of
fresh for Arlington, Va.-based FMI - The Food Industry Association.
That growth has been especially strong in the past few years, he said.
Take inventory control, which is crucial for anything involving fresh
foods whose clock is ticking even before they hit the store.
" So much work has been done to manage inventory to make sure
that only the freshest product is being sold, " Stein said. " When I look on
my career, 45 years ago it was done manually -and even 10 years ago it
was still done manually. "
Now, with Artificial Intelligence and other technologies, retailers can
monitor exactly what's sold, when. And with the right algorithms, they
can keep just enough product on hand to both meet consumer demand
and keep foods from going bad and becoming unsellable.
With labor shortages such a concern for most retailers these days,
that's more important than ever, Stein said.
" The perimeter is coming out of the stone age, becoming like what
center-store is. "
That's also true from the shopper's point of view, Stein said. It wasn't
that long ago that consumers had to rely exclusively on instore signage
and print circulars to learn about the products they were interested in
buying. Now, with QR codes, learning which foods are local, organic
or pesticide-free, or learning how to prep and cook them, is just a
click away.
The impetus to create and apply those technologies ramped up
exponentially during COVID, Stein said, where countless converts were
made on the digital side, using ecommerce to buy their fresh foods,
using augmented reality to figure out what to do with them once they
purchased them and many other applications.
" It's not unusual now for consumers to shop with their cell phones,
and the day of the QR code has really come into its own, " Stein said.
But ecommerce and also applications of technology aren't just
alternatives to the instore experience. They're also making that
experience much more engaging, Stein said.
" One thing I think retailers will really put a lot of effort into is
creating better experiences for consumers in brick and mortar.
Think of all the real estate they own. One area that really allows
them to create more experiences is the perimeter. "
Point A to Point B -faster
One of the biggest technology-related changes that has helped
the grocery perimeter become what it is today is the revolution in
transportation efficiencies.
For much of the grocery store's history, produce and other fresh
offerings were limited by seasonality, given how difficult it was to get
products to market before they went bad, said Eric Richard, industry
relations coordinator for the Madison, Wis.-based International Dairy
Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA).
That all changed with advancements in refrigeration technology,
logistics and other factors that benefited from higher-tech upgrades.
NOVEMBER 2021 - 11
Technological
innovations
in front of and
behind the counter
have helped fuel the
fresh perimeter's
tremendous growth.
" Now we can enjoy products from all over the country and world
because of logistics and supply chain advancements, " Richard said.
Today, blockchain and other technologies continue to refine those
supply chain-related advances even more, he added. Particularly when
it comes to preventing, or at least containing and minimizing, food
safety-related outbreaks, these technologies are playing a crucial role.
Looking at specific perimeter departments in particular, instore
bakeries have benefited tremendously in the fairly recent past from
oven innovations, Richard said.
He remembers being asked to help out in the instore bakery of the
grocery store he worked at as a teenager in New Jersey in the 1990s.
The difference between the baking technology then and now is like
" night and day, " he said, and led to a lot of trepidation about his youthful
efforts.
" Being able to bake high-quality products in the instore bakery
has a lot do with equipment innovations, " he said. " It certainly would
have helped me have a lot more confidence that the bread I was
trying to bake would come out perfect. Having the right oven at the
right temperature with the right settings, that are easy to program
and calculate -that's especially important when training the next
generation of bakers. "
KATELYN BETZ - SOSLAND PUBLISHING CO., DOVER

Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021

Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 14
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 15
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 16
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 21
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 22
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 23
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 24
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 25
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 26
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 27
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 28
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 29
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 30
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Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 67
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 68
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https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_11_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_10_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_09_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_08_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_07_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_06_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_05_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_04_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_03_01
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