2021 Grocery Stores

The grocery aisle will look very different in 5 years. The food choices, the way we buy food, the way we consume food and the way we source food are all changing. From services like Blue Apron delivering the exact ingredients to the pursuit of customized food to an individual’s biome. The food world, and every industry around it, including agriculture, food imports, logistics, refrigeration, wholesale, retail and online sales are all changing.

There is a lot of opportunity in food industry innovation at this time. Through my work on the Chobani Food Incubator, I see that even a fast growing company is never moving fast enough. It’s not just about building bigger, but smarter. The opportunity window for food entrepreneurs is growing and we all benefit if the winners are creating natural, nutrition, accessible and delicious food. We all benefit if access is easier for all wallets, waste is less, and options are healthier. We all benefit if grocery stores continue to innovate and new food businesses have better ways to reach customers. There is currently a lot of status quo thinking in the food industry, and it’s time to take those on.

The announcement of Amazon Go is a perfect example of taking on a status quo food problem. The store looks all the same, but the registers are no where to be found. It’s a small shift, removing centralized cashiers instead for store-wide sensors, but it is a big benefit in the eyes of consumers. Stopping in to a shop no longer requires waiting on line. From the 12 items or less lines, to no lines. The first concept store opens this week, but it’s only the beginning to the changes we’ll continue to see from Amazon, and the entrenched grocery players looking to stay relevant.

There are a lot of opportunities in food where the current options can be reimagined to be better. Logistics, cost of food, food waste and affordable nutrition options are a few on my list. What other areas do you see opportunities for change?

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