The Top 10 Food Trends For 2019, According To Whole Foods

“Twenty-six subject experts from Whole Foods have been convening for four years to predict what’s coming next to their own shelves and to the food world as a whole. These experts range from a master sommelier and global beverage buyer to a senior R&D culinologist to the president of the Whole Kids Foundation to a produce field inspector to a board-certified, internal medicine physician to a global meat buyer; some actually started out working at the store level.

Before I share their predictions with you, what is unsaid is that the chain, now owned by Amazon, has produced the biggest trend in grocery in decades: They have awaken a previously staid industry and revitalized it as chains both large and small are changing the way they look at grocery. Amazon/Whole Foods has also attracted new talent, some from Ivy League schools who might never have thought about a career in grocery, and led other grocers on the same path. For me one of the biggest trends for 2019 will be to watch where Amazon/Whole Foods leads us next.

Now on to Whole Foods’ top 10 food trends:

Pacific Rim flavors is the top trend, with Whole Foods announcing that its Market and 365 Everyday Value brands will launch a new line of products inspired by Pacific Rim fruits like a guava tropical vinaigrette, pineapple passionfruit sparkling mineral water, mango pudding mix and passionfruit coconut frozen fruit bars. It also expect to see ingredients like longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste to appear on restaurant and home menus in dishes from breakfast to dinner. (…)”

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Ford teaming up with Walmart and Postmates on robot deliveries

“Ford is joining forces with Walmart and Postmates to create a grocery delivery service using self-driving vehicles in Miami, the companies announced Wednesday.

Ford has been using Miami as a test bed for its self-driving vehicles since earlier this year. And more recently, the auto giant joined with Postmates to see how people ordering takeout food would interact with an autonomous delivery van.

Now Ford is moving to the next stage: grocery delivery. The company says it will experiment with different vehicle types, as well as modifications to those vehicles needed to keep perishable food items fresh. It will also experiment with a variety of scenarios, such as multiple deliveries on one trip and the user experience of retrieving delivery items from a fully driverless vehicle.”

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Walmart surpasses Amazon as online shoppers’ most popular grocer

Image result for walmart grocery

“The world’s largest retailer has surpassed the e-commerce giant in a survey of online food shoppers, more of whom said they most recently visited Walmart’s site for groceries. Local supermarkets were in third place, fueled in part by logistics provider Instacart, which handles orders for grocers like Kroger Co. and many others.

Walmart has moved ahead thanks to the rapid deployment of its curbside grocery pickup service, which is now in about 2,000 stores. An additional 1,000 will come on board by the end of 2019, the company said at a recent investor conference.

Walmart also works with delivery services like DoorDash and Deliv to bring groceries to customers’ homes for a fee. Amazon, meanwhile, offers grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market stores for its Prime customers in 60 cities, with in-store pickup now available in 10.”

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Walmart Employees Encouraged To use In-house Apps

Walmart Encourages Associates to Perform Tasks with Their Smartphones for Better Efficiency

“Walmart continues its push to empower its employees through technology, now encouraging store associates to accomplish everyday tasks on the job with their smartphones instead of store-supplied devices, with the intent of improving efficiency via familiarity.”

“We know technology is helping our associates be more productive and deliver for our customers in new ways,” said Brock McKeel, senior director of digital operations, on the retailer’s blog. “BYOD is just another option our people will have to access the custom apps that help associates perform their jobs.”

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UNFI completes SUPERVALU acquisition

Image result for unfi“United Natural Foods Inc. closed its $2.9 billion purchase of Supervalu Inc. on Monday, with Supervalu shares disappearing from the New York Stock Exchange as the first sign of the completed takeover.

In coming months, United Natural aims to sell Supervalu’s grocery store chains, including Cub Foods, and narrow its business to wholesale distribution similar to its own.

United Natural Foods (UNFI), based in Providence, R.I., is the nation’s largest distributor of organic and natural foods. With Supervalu, the company will more than double its size and expand its reach into traditional foods and grocery stores.

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Shoppers Want Deals, Coupons for Groceries More Than Any Other Category

grocery technology omnichannel grocery supermarket research

“The 2018 Purse String Survey reveals that 93 percent of respondents show interest in coupons and deals. Some 82 percent typically use coupons for their routine, weekly grocery shopping trips, and nearly half (47 percent) do so for fill-in trips, as well.

But there’s also a major opportunity for online grocers, according to the research. Grocery ecommerce adoption is on the rise, with 13 percent of respondents saying they are buying more groceries online for delivery compared to last year, and 12 percent saying the same for click-and-collect. Delivery numbers rise even higher for dads and Hispanics, while click-and-collect numbers rise for Millennials and Millennial parents.”

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Whole Foods Denied “World’s Healthiest” Moniker

whole-foods1.jpgIn 2010, Whole Foods successfully took on the name “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store,” trademarking the slogan on the basis of existing consumer sentiment. But they recently submitted an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to call themselves  “The World’s Healthiest Grocery Store” – a significant jump in status which could indicate plans for more aggressive expansion overseas.

Unfortunately the Patent office rejected the application, on the basis that such a slogan makes a “laudatory” and unverifiable claim. Papa John’s slogan “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza” was originally denied for the same reason. One reason the switch from “America’s” to “The World’s” might have struck officials as puffery is that Whole Foods currently has a presence in only Canada, Britain and the U.S. – hardly the whole world. They’ve also struggled historically to push into these overseas markets, where existing chains often have a hold on loyal clientele.

Whole Foods now has 6 months to update and refile the case for reconsideration.

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