Top trends for 2018

Food firms could cash in on five key retail trends for 2018

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Food manufacturers could benefit from five top global retail trends
Food manufacturers could benefit from five top global retail trends
Food and drink manufacturers could benefit from exploiting five key global retail trends that will shape shoppers’ purchasing habits next year, according to the grocery think tank IGD.

The top trends – Premiumisation of own-label (private-label), Becoming hyperlocal, Delivering the goods, Leading in lifestyle and Fulfilling stores – all offered to boost manufacturers’ sales both at home and abroad, said IGD’s senior innovations and trends analyst Toby Pickard.

Retailers were increasingly using own-label to appeal to a wide range of life stages and changing shopping habits. These ranges were a key area in which retailers could differentiate themselves and stand out in an increasingly complex and competitive retail market, said Pickard.

“For own-label manufacturers this could provide additional volume but more pressure on costs. For brands, they will have to ensure their products are superior to justify the price. They are likely to achieve this through showcasing heritage and new products.”

Quality of own-label products

According to IGD research, 75% of UK shoppers now believed the quality of own-label products had improved over recent years. Many retailers were putting more emphasis on affordable premium own-label ranges.

The trend called Becoming hyperlocal referred to shoppers’ preference to buy local food and drink  products with strong regional links.

This was predicted to result in retailers selling produce that would only be available for a short period of time, due to seasonality and availability, creating uniqueness and increased shopper desire to get these products when available.

“To achieve a hyperlocal offering, retailers will need to support small and medium-sized producers,”​ said Pickard. “This will be positively perceived by shoppers, as it helps them sustain their community and allows them to feel special, to be part of something unique.”

Manufacturers will need to ensure that the products sold truly reflect the local communities’ tastes and desires, which will require in-depth local insights. “Retailers could tie up with local events and traditions to mirror shoppers’ beliefs and values to help build loyalty.”

Innovative delivery solutions

The third trend for next year – Delivering the goods – highlighted shoppers’ preference for the delivery of goods in quick and easy ways. Retailers will strive to meet and even exceed these demands with innovative delivery solutions.

“If shoppers continue to value convenience and time saving solutions they will have less and less interaction with retailers and brands,”​ said Pickard. “Therefore, there will be a need for both retailers and brands to try and create additional value for the shopper to ensure they do not get forgotten about. Gathering more data about shoppers and utilising it to help the shopper will be critical.”

The fourth trend – Leading in lifestyle – highlighted the focus on health and wellness throughout 2018. Retailers are expected to expand designated zones in-store and develop lifestyle-focused formats.

Health and wellness

“Retailers and brands will need to stay very close to evolving food trends to ensure they are meeting the needs of increasingly diverse and demanding shoppers. The winners in this area will be those that are able to predict, create or respond very quickly to the next food lifestyle trend.”

The last of the top five trends – Fulfilling stores – reflected physical stores’ growing challenge in attracting footfall. The pressure is mounting for retailers to cater to the rise of the ‘omnichannel shopper’ by offering a shopping experience that blends online, offline and big data to reinvent retail.

Fulfilling stores

“Retailers will be looking to enhance the physical store through showcasing exciting produce, while also offering practical solutions to meet the needs of omnichannel shoppers,”​ said Pickard.

“Manufacturers should look to help retailers enhance the store experience for shoppers, through merchandising or NPD ​[new product development], while also being able to meet online fulfilment requirements.” 


Five global retail trends for 2018 that offer opportunities for manufacturers

  1. Premiumisation of private label
  2. Becoming hyperlocal
  3. Delivering the goods
  4. Leading in lifestyle
  5. Fulfilling stores

Source: IGD


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