Leslie Sarasin, president and chief executive officer of the Food Marketing Institute, Washington, D.C., told Fresh Summit attendees that consumers in 2022 will be even more value-driven than 2012. In 2008, about 60% of shoppers identified themselves as being value seekers, while by 2022 between 80% and 90% are value-seeking customers, she said.
“Attitudes of frugality have beecome the new norm,” Sarasin said. “What we are dealing with now (in 2022) is the aftermath of the great recession of 2008,” she said.
Tools for shopping have allowed customers in 2012 to shop smarter and save money, she said, even as they are in stores. Retailers will want the shopper’s experience in the store to mirror the ease of shopping online.
Before, bargain hunting used to involve strolling the aisles and looking at newspapers to see what kind of promotions were there,” she said. “Now it is all about scrolling screens.”
Sarasin said e-commerce will continue to expand in influence and will start to claim more grocery and fresh produce sales by 2012.
Partially in response to the rise of remote shopping, store formats will shrink and become more focused on price, assortment or convenience.
Sarasin said retail stores will experiment in multi-channel platforms, suggesting partnerships between traditional and online retailers. Traditional supermarkets will have to be much more focused on their customers and specific items to appeal to particular neighborhoods, he said.
Retail stores of 2022 will go back to the future by more closely resembling the service and value of mom and pop stores of the 1920s while embracing technology necessary to connect with consumers, she said.
Victor Smith, president and chief executive officer of Fresh Innovations, LLC, joked that he would be about 10 pounds lighter in 2022 because he began to “practice what he preached” in making fruits and vegetables a bigger part of his diet.
A concerted effort by industry groups changed government policy by 2022 to encourage more fruit and vegetable consumption, he said.
“Our young generation became the largest consumer groups for our products,” he said. “The tables (in 2022) are now turned; our children made us eat our vegetables,” he said.
What’s more, Smith said he believes 2022 will bring greater partnership between industry and government research, allowing risk-based assessments to better deliver safe food.
“The FDA finally recognized our success and chose to align with us as a vested partner and validated that our risk assessment and mitigation procedures were working,” he said.