5 Grocery Industry Trends To Watch

Are you keeping up with the times, or is your grocery store falling behind?

If you’re not watching the grocery industry trends for this year and beyond, you might just find yourself eating your competition’s dust.

The grocery industry, the market, and your customers' needs are constantly growing, changing, and evolving. New trends emerge and others fade into the background. If you aren’t keeping your ear to the ground and keeping up with the times, you will struggle to make well-informed decisions for your business. 

This post will explore five current trends in the grocery industry. By understanding these trends and their potential impact on your business, you can make strategic decisions to stay ahead of the competition and meet the evolving needs of your customers.


Why Follow Grocery Industry Trends? 

Before we dive into the trends every grocery store owner should be watching this year, let’s answer a foundational question: why follow these trends in the first place? Following grocery trends can feel frustrating and overwhelming, but staying in the loop can make a world of difference for your store. 

Related: [GUIDE] How To Open a Small Grocery Store in 8 Steps

First and foremost, following grocery industry trends helps you stay competitive. The retail landscape is constantly evolving, and by staying up to date with the latest trends, you can help your store stay relevant and appealing to customers. 

Keeping up with trends allows you to identify emerging market demands and adapt your offerings accordingly, giving you an edge over competitors who may be slower to respond.

Meeting changing customer expectations is another compelling reason to stay in tune with industry trends. Consumer preferences and behaviors are continually shifting. The only way to make sure your store can cater to these shifting demands and win customer loyalty is by staying informed.

On the flip side, when you turn a blind eye to what's happening in the industry, you risk missing out on valuable opportunities. Trends often present new avenues for growth and innovation, and failing to capitalize on them can put you at a disadvantage. Whether it's introducing a popular new product, implementing a time-saving technology, or adopting a more efficient supply chain model, embracing industry trends opens doors to expanding your business and attracting new customers.

Additionally, ignoring industry trends can lead to wasted resources. You might invest time, money, and effort into initiatives that no longer resonate with customers in your space. By staying informed, you can avoid costly missteps, focusing on strategies that have a higher chance of success.

Lastly, ignoring industry trends can lead to the perception that your store is "behind the times.” In a fast-paced world where trends come and go, customers expect businesses to be aware of what's happening and adapt accordingly. 

Related Read: What Are Grocery Store Profit Margins? (And How To Increase Yours)

Staying on top of trends is essential for staying competitive, meeting changing customer expectations, increasing profitability, and seizing opportunities for growth. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that can help you do all this and more this year! 

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1. The Impact of Inflation 

Inflation rates are a topic of conversation for businesses and individuals alike in the current market. Inflation on everyday products — such as the ones sold in your grocery store — is a particularly hot topic, so you’ll need to take steps to navigate those conversations and challenges. 

Rising food prices impact your customers’ purchasing power and affect their ability to afford certain products in your store. In response, many grocery stores adjust their pricing strategies to reflect inflation while remaining competitive. 

Innovative grocery stores should explore cost-saving options for their customers, such as expanding offerings of generic, store-brand products as an affordable alternative to skyrocketing name-brand prices. By offering a wide range of store-brand options, grocery stores can cater to budget-conscious consumers and provide them with value while maintaining their profit margins.

Pro-tip: Point of sale (POS) data can help you pinpoint products that aren’t selling well and brands that are flying off the shelves. Use this to optimize your inventory processes and meet changing customer demands.

2. Increased Reliance on Online Grocery 

In the days since the lockdowns of 2020, online grocery shopping has seen a remarkable surge in popularity. Grocery stores should consider investing in e-commerce options to meet these evolving customer needs.

Many grocery retailers have expanded their online presence, partnering with delivery applications to offer delivery options and listing products online to accommodate curbside pickup and buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS).  

Embracing online grocery lets you tap into a larger customer base and provide a seamless shopping experience. When considering online grocery, make sure to optimize your website, streamline your online ordering process, and ensure efficient delivery or pickup logistics.

Pro-tip: Use a point of sale system that offers online grocery, like IT Retail, for a simple and smooth transition into the e-commerce space.  

3. Personalized Offers and Promotions

Personalization has become a key strategy for grocery stores to enhance customer loyalty and drive sales.

You can utilize customer data to provide personalized offers and promotions designed to meet your consumers where they are and entice them to return to your store. How can you implement this program in your store? Simple: Integrate your loyalty program with your store’s marketing strategies!

Leverage your loyalty program’s data to pinpoint buying patterns, demographics, and more. This data can help you target specific customer segments with promotions designed specifically for them and their needs. 

Pro-tip: Use your point of sale data to nurture customer relationships and drive personalized experiences customers can’t get anywhere else. 

4. Growth of Private-Label Brands

We discussed the importance of store-brand products earlier in this post. Now it’s time to really dive in. Why are these private-label brands so important for your store in the current market?

Private-label brands are gaining consistent popularity in the grocery industry. Where store-brand products used to have a reputation for being subpar, modern private-label products are high quality and offer great value for their price point. By developing a diverse range of private-label products, you can compete with national brands while offering your customers more affordable alternatives. 

Additionally, consider introducing premium private-label brands to cater to higher-end consumers who seek exclusivity and unique products. The growth of private-label brands allows you to differentiate your store and provide customers with options that meet their needs without breaking the bank. 

5. Return of the Importance of Perimeter Products 

Last but not least, the modern grocery industry is seeing a resurgence of perimeter products! Consumers are increasingly prioritizing fresh, healthy foods and seeking prepared meals for convenience. 

Grocery store owners should focus on expanding and enhancing their deli, bakery, and other perimeter departments to meet these changing customer preferences. Emphasize sustainability and eco-friendly options by sourcing locally and promoting environmentally-conscious practices. 

Offering a wide selection of fresh, high-quality perimeter products can help you attract health-conscious and environmentally aware consumers who value these types of products. Keeping up with this trend ensures that your grocery store remains a go-to destination for customers seeking fresh and sustainable options.

Pro-tip: Strong inventory management practices can help you manage perishable products and reduce shrinkage due to spoilage.

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Stay Ahead of the Curve on Grocery Store Trends 

If you want to run a successful grocery store that serves the community, provides incredible products to your customers, and stays ahead of the curve, you need to follow these grocery industry trends this year.

Though some aspects of the grocery industry shift and change year after year, one thing will remain constant: a strong point of sale solution to help you manage your store’s inventory, customer loyalty, and checkout processes.

IT Retail’s solution offers crucial features every grocery store needs, like self-checkout, online grocery shopping, customer loyalty features, and more. 

Request a demo today to see if IT Retail is the POS solution for your business!