Everything under one roof
Facilitation reached its peak: making e-grocery shopping easier and more inspired
Every other Wednesday, h/commerce provides in-depth analysis of the most impactful trends reshaping retail.
Nowadays, being delivered its grocery shopping is something quite usual. However, for some years now, some smart solutions were developed to take care of everything grocery and meal prep-wise.
Not always easy to come up with new meal ideas every single day, to manage grocery shopping and to prepare meals besides every day-to-day duties. These obligations are seen as time consuming and tedious. Despite this growing tiredness, consumers still want to eat good and fresh food.
We can already notice a shift in customers’ grocery shopping behaviors.
According to a recent study from Power Reviews, by 2025, online grocery will account for 21% of total grocery sales.
In fact, according to this same survey, 73% of consumers have purchased grocery items online recently compared to 17% when they were asked the same question in 2017.
Today, a growing number of online grocery shopping options are available. The most common one is to order a pickup or a delivery from the local grocer. Some customers choose online-only services as Amazon Fresh or Boxed. In addition, plenty of offers are launched every day to satisfy a very demanding consumer.
How new actors are entering the food market with forever more innovative solutions to shorten the consumer journey?
Third party platforms: tools to help consumers to find inspiration and make grocery shopping easier
In May 2021, Anycart announced the launch of an innovative grocery shopping engine to facilitate grocery shopping, at home delivery and even meal prepping.
What the online platform allows to visitors is to select their favorite grocer, choose appetizing recipes and shop their food items in just a few clicks. Anycart is partnering with numerous grocers including Whole Foods, Amazon, Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Jewel Osco, and so much more. Anycart is working directly with grocery stores and their members, so no additional delivery fees are asked to Anycart visitors. Indeed, the platform is able to provide free delivery to 3500 US cities.
The engine integrates each grocer inventory, so customers are able to check available items in real time. Once customers placed their order with Anycart, the platform sends these orders to grocers, and employees from each partnering grocery store are fulfilling orders and taking care of deliveries.
Anycart is also taking care of the inspiration phase of the consumer journey via a selection of 1000 recipes. Visitors can begin their journey on the platform by selecting their favorite recipes and then add all the ingredients they will need to their cart. The platform is actually able to generate ready to use grocery lists from selected recipes.
By understanding consumers’ barriers and removing them, it is a seamless consumer experience that Anycart is providing.
Another actor is providing the same kind of service to customers in France and in the US: Jow kitchen. The app is promising to its customers a fully personalized menu according to the size of the household, the dietary, cooking appliances etc. Once recipes are selected, ingredients are automatically added to customer’s cart. The platform also allows customers to add some extra items to their cart. Then, customers are delivered at home by their favorite local grocer.
Jow is clearly focusing on the inspiration step and meals preparation. The platform provides customers with pictures of each meal and also videos explaining step by step how to prepare meals.
The brand is relying on the insight that people lack quality time for themselves and their loved ones because of the day-to-day routine. So Jow is positioning itself as a ‘grocery personal’ shopper offering a convenient and tailor-made online service.
Source: Jow app and website
Tools even more facilitating: Meal boxes
Assuming that people are bored by everyday meal prepping task, that they lack inspiration and find grocery shopping absolutely time-consuming new actors entered the market with a fun and convenient concept: Meal boxes or meal kits.
This option is expected to be worth $11.6 billion by 2022 in the United States alone (according to Truly Experience).
Instead of being time consuming and boring, meal kits are turning meal prepping into a fun and easy experience. These kits deliveries are usually available via a subscription mode.
Most of the time, people just have to go online and select the number of recipes they want to order for a week, which kind of diet they are on, the prep time they don’t want to exceed, the number of people in the household, and finally they can choose among a selection of recipes. Then, the next step is ordering and being delivered at home.
In these kits, consumers can find premeasured and pre-prepped ingredients to make their meals. Everything is very clearly explained on each recipe’s sheet.
Even if consumers want to save time they still want to continue to eat well. So, these solutions are seen as great alternatives to get the benefits without the constraints.
These kits delivered at home are definitely more convenient because they avoid many grocery trips, they help to diversify our diet, to eat fresh products, get budget under control, and to prevent leftover. The most striking benefit is probably the fact that people can find inspiration and purchase food items at the same place: “Everything under one roof”
The leading meal kit company, Hello Fresh, was founded in 2011 in Germany: It is the largest meal-kit provider in the United States. It delivers prep ingredients in the right proportions to customers to allow them to cook easily their selected meals taking around 30–40 minutes. It generally provides about three two-person meals a week for about $60 to $70. For the busiest customers, the company also provides a “rapid Box” including meals which take only 20 minutes to prepare. Many other declinations are available to fit with peculiar diets.
The company is very present on social media, especially on Instagram where the brand communication strategy is mainly relying on partnerships with influencers.
More recently the brand came up with a brand-new offer: Hello Fresh Market to provide a larger range of food services. With Hello Fresh Market, consumers can purchase additional products to complement the meals kit offer. These additional items are often used for lunch and dessert. Even more solutions, means here, even more facilitation.
Source: HelloFresh website
Why is it interesting?
These brands are highlighting many benefits: eat fresh, get a diversified diet, save more money, save more time, waste less, get fun while cooking…
These are representative of customers conflicting expectations.
So, today’s major challenge for retailers would be to design smart solutions answering to consumers ambivalence.
This extreme facilitation of consumers’ daily routine is here illustrated with the food market, but we can imagine this kind of model duplicated to other markets.
It has already been made for travel planning through platforms handling every step of the consumer journey from A to Z.
However, today this kind of innovative service is mainly used by urban workers in big cities. They are more likely to look for timesaving solutions in all the areas of their lives. These brands are also speaking to digital consumers as they are mostly present on Instagram and relying on influencers to popularize new lifestyles.
However, let’s not forget that these consumers are quite informed, so they will always consider convenience just as important as health.
The Evolution of the Modern Grocery Shopper – Power Reviews