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March 24, 2021

The Evolution of Grocery Shopping

With the debut of Piggy Wiggly in Memphis in 1916, the supermarket industry has been booming. Though the idea of the supermarket by in large hasn’t changed drastically since then, stores and their product offerings have shifted with consumer demand and buying habits. Here are some of the shifts that supermarkets have made over the decades.

With the debut of Piggy Wiggly in Memphis in 1916, the supermarket industry has been booming.Though the idea of the supermarket by in large hasn’t changed drastically since then, stores and their product offerings have shifted with consumer demand and buying habits. Here are some of the shifts that grocery stores have made of the decades

More Products, More Choice

Supermarkets are called super for a reason. The number of products available is vast. From sodas, to cereal, juice and dressings, the shelves are packed with options. The average number of products offered has grown from 9,000 in the mid 1970s to nearly 50,000 products in 2017, according to industry executives.

Much of that is attributed to new products on the market, such as energy drinks, bottled teas and Kombucha. These are drinks few people could have imagined would be given their own refrigerated cases. Those new products also brought new challenges to shelf maintenance. Make product selection easier for customers and drive higher sales with the SpaceDriver® II pusher display system from Retail Space Solutions, which is designed to manage bottled and canned products with ease, keeping products organized all day long. SpaceDriver II creates attractive, front-facing displays with its patented controlled-pusher movement, making it a practical solution to organize bottled products.

Local, Local, Local

Shoppers are far more likely to see locally grown or sourced products at supermarkets today than they did 50 years ago, when local produce and other foods were almost exclusively found at roadside stands and farmers markets. Grocers even internationally are adjusting their local offerings to meet consumer demands.

More Food Comes Ready to Eat

Though the 1970s brought the continued rise of frozen foods and other convenience products, in recent years there has been significant growth in grocery stores offering prepared and ready-to-eat meals. That trend spiked in 2020, and it’s easy to see why – with more consumers eating at home during the pandemic, foods like pre-packaged salads and produce draw in shoppers who want to make healthy food choices without time to wash and cut vegetables.

The SpaceGrid® II pusher display system from Retail Space Solutions is the key to fresh and attractive packaged-produce displays. Compatible with more than 97% of coolers, these pusher systems are designed to keep shelves organized and packaged-produce front-faced. The patented channel system built into the trays allows refrigerated air to flow freely below to maintain freshness.

Curbside Pickup Becomes the Norm

While some trends come and go, others resurface. Some grocery shoppers may recall a time when grocers hand delivered groceries to their vehicles. Nowadays, the modern equivalent is emerging. Buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) services offer a similar convenience.

A year ago, 81% of consumers had never bought groceries online, but these services have grown significantly during the pandemic with online grocery delivery and pickup sales reaching a peak of $7.2 billion in June of 2020.

After a year of record-breaking grocery sales due to the pandemic, record-breaking industry shifts have also emerged.  Many of these changes are likely here to stay.  Even more changes are inevitably coming to the industry to meet new and ever-changing consumer demands.

For more information on display solutions from Retail Space Solutions, visit www.retailspacesolutions.com or call 1-800-279-5291.