We are already one month into 2022 and new trends are expected to emerge. This is especially true in the food retail industry where disruptions and innovations are a way of life. Trends are shaping the way grocers operate and strategize their approach to the upcoming year. In the past few years, we have seen some pronounced food retail trends, such as the accelerated adoption of technology and the upswing demand for health and wellness food products. Will these trends continue their momentum in the next year? We’ll find out.
New year, new trends. Here’s what food retailers should look out for this coming 2022:
Reimagined Store Formats
The food retail landscape has changed over the years. Given the pandemic health crisis that we currently find ourselves in, the food-retail industry has been forced into a state of constant transition to adapt accordingly. Store departments have changed with new formats emerging like the “Store-Within-a-Store” (SWAS) concept. This idea centers around building a “mini-mall” within the store with different company partnerships and in-store co-branding replete with dedicated showrooms. Also, to improve store formats and give customers a more immersive shopping experience, incorporating AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology and taking advantage of all online media channels aimed at branding, execution, and promotion will be in the limelight this 2022.
Food and Drinks for Well-Being
Consumer shopping behavior may have changed constantly over the years but there seems to be a consistent consumer food preference that will continue in the upcoming year—healthy food and drinks for personal wellness. Healthy food options are here to stay, and consumers should expect food products like fruits and vegetables, derived from ultra-urban farming, and more citrus fruits to hit store shelves next year. Likewise, products, such as organic and grass-fed foods, non-alcoholic spirits, functional beverages, and sustainable grains will be big hits in 2022.
Sustainability is the New Black
The push for environmentally friendly products and services isn’t novel to grocery and supermarket operations. However, the drive towards a more sustainable future in the food retail industry isn’t a single focus approach anymore—it’s becoming a holistic movement. Starting from how foods are produced and stored by retailers using energy-efficient refrigeration systems, such as natural refrigeration solutions, sustainability will continue to be a consequential movement in the upcoming years and not just a passing trend. One proof of this is the existing and looming refrigerant regulations mandated by different environmental agencies that limit or outright ban the use of some harmful refrigerants and outline deadlines for compliance. This urges retailers to abide by refrigerant regulatory standards and plan out a compliance program that will suit their business for the years to come.
These upcoming food retail trends show that just like consumer buying behavior, trends are influenced by a lot of factors and continue to evolve over time. And with the knowledge that trends come and go, retailers who are willing to adapt, adjust and be flexible with the food-retail trends for 2022 will surely flourish in the coming year.