Out of the Bubble and into the Store

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The food industry, like any industry, has its fair share of trade publications and dedicated news sources—not to mention significant coverage from mainstream news sources.

And like with most forms of media today, this coverage tends to focus on what’s new, what’s different, and now more than ever, what’s click-worthy.

Those of us who work in the food industry, like people in all walks of life these days, risk getting trapped in a bubble of our own making, one that prioritizes the new new thing, can’t wait to label something a hot trend, and often fails to recognize the difference between eye-catching growth rates and less-eye-catching absolute percentages. 

Case in point: it's nearly impossible to follow the food and grocery retail industry these days without coming away with the distinct impression that online is the key battleground for food and grocery retail brands.

A recent poll from Gallup suggests, however, that we may want to contextualize that impression a bit.

According to Gallup, 84% of US adults report they never order groceries online. In fact, 81% of Americans shop in person at a grocery store at least once a week—a third do so more than once a week.

There’s no doubt that the advent of digital technologies and the promise of ecommerce are factors that every food and grocery retail brand must account for. However, it’s important to see the bigger picture—driving the path to purchase at a physical store is still the key battleground for food brands.