supermarkets of the future

Sayonara Supermarkets?

In the very near future we’ll be describing to our kids or grandchildren the ‘old fashioned’ supermarkets we grew up with because younger generations will know a very different kind of grocery shopping. Technology will make shopping more efficient and it will give the consumer instant information about the source and sustainability of the food, the freshness, the quality and the nutrition.

According to recent marketing research, 31% of consumers made a grocery purchase online in 2015, a 12% increase over 2014. Interestingly, 39% of Millennials surveyed are primarily buying almost ALL of their groceries online. So, will supermarkets cease to exist and will we all shop from home or the office?   I enjoy seeing what’s new and fresh in the market and trying new items. I will miss supermarkets if they go away!

Here are some of the predictions of what supermarkets of the future will look like:

  • Your phone will alert the store when you walk in, and locate you. There will be touch screen shelves that will offer you a selection tailored to you based on your previous purchases. If you linger in a certain area, say soups, you will immediately receive deals on some of the products.
    hi-tech supermarket
  • Supermarket technology will inform you exactly what is in your food, its carbon footprint and where it came from. You can watch a cow being milked with a virtual reality headset. If you like what you see you can buy a gallon of milk from the exact cow. Target is developing a food gadget (a food spectrometer) to allow shoppers to scan products to see how long they have been on the shelves and how nutritious they are.
  • Your cart will keep track of what you are putting in it, and on your way out of the supermarket you’ll press ‘checkout’ and you will pay electronically and leave. No more check out lines!
  • You will be able to avoid grocery shopping for all of your staples and routine purchases. Your very smart refrigerator and food cupboards will notice what you put in them, and they will keep track as you run low of any item. They will do this with built-in electronic scanners and scales that will be built into them. They will order what you need and the order will be delivered right to your door. Samsung is already making a fridge that allows you to check its contents remotely.
  • You will be able to scan your grocery list into your cart, and the cart will show you the fastest route around the store picking up all the items on your list. Your cart will also show you similar items that have coupons, and if you choose any, the coupon will be applied automatically.
  • Consumers want more local food, so supermarkets will begin creating or growing food in the supermarket, maybe on living walls, on rooftops, or through 3D food printers. You’ll be picking your tomatoes right off the vine in aisle 6!
    supermarkets growing vegetables
    supermarkets technology
  • We’re getting used to wine tasting and food samples in supermarkets, but new supermarkets will offer cooking classes and have food festivals. They will be looking for food experiences to offer shoppers.
  • There might be drive-through supermarket windows like fast-food restaurants. You will place your order into your smart phone or PC, then pick up your order at the time you set.
    cars in the supermarket(credit – Daily Mail)
  • Supermarkets will copy Whole Foods’ success by increasing made-from-scratch prepared foods and providing dining areas.

For supermarkets to continue, they will need to be current, hi-tech and fun. Food shopping will become an enjoyable experience with no lines. One idea is that supermarkets will become enclosed farmer’s markets, with many vendors under one roof. It will be interesting to watch.

What do you think about the future of shopping? Let us know in the comments below.

Header Image Credit; Tyler Olson ©123RF