Natural Foods Merchandiser
Natural delivery business grows

Natural delivery business grows

Here's a look at three stories we are reading this week. Delivery continues to grow and find new markets while technology appears to be one key to grocery growth, especially with millennials.

One thing's quite apparent in perusing headlines this week: Grocery delivery continues to capture attention.

In the last year, stories such as Peapod's virtual stores and the launch of many organic delivery services (some even getting big investment) have captured customers' imaginations and caused retailers to consider how to compete. The stories I'm reading this week show the creativity and growth continue.

The first story linked below covers a rising delivery market in hotel partnerships as hoteliers strive to remove themselves from the food service market. The next reports on Door to Door Organics, a delivery leader, that continues to expand across the nation. It also notes the growing importance of this service to Kroger (a conventional grocer that continues to grow its natural offerings and marketing).

Another topic Natural Foods Merchandiser has explored is the application of technology in natural retail. Two barriers arise again and again: cost and the question of whether high-tech belongs in a high-touch, natural environment. The third story below explores how important tech is to grocery. In an interesting out-there test, Whole Foods Market explores how technology could help customers buy healthier products.

Enjoy the stories I'm reading this week and let us know how you are implementing these ideas and tools in your store.

1. Grocery delivery gaining traction throughout hotel industry

Grocery delivery gaining traction throughout hotel industry September 17, 2013 · ·  Hotel grocery delivery is not just for select-service, extended-stay or family resorts anymore. Denihan Hospitality's Affinia Hotels, a small luxury-boutique chain, reached an agreement last month with the online grocer FreshDirect to provide specially packed meals for guests. The service was introduced at the 241-room Affinia Dumont and has since been added to the other four Affinia-branded hotels in Manhattan. Affinia has even gone so far as to promote...
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2. Grocery delivery taking hold in metro Denver

Grocery delivery taking hold in metro Denver September 12, 2013 · · “A strong percentage of our products are local,” Arnold said of the nine-year-old company, which now has five distribution centers delivering to nine states. “That’s a neat thing for all the regions we deliver to — it’s local for that community.”

Large grocers like King Soopers have been doing home grocery delivery for a while, but they’ve seen delivery customers change in recent years, said Kelli McGannon, a spokeswoman for the supermarket chain.
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3. Grocery stores adding tech features to stay competitive

Grocery stores adding tech features to stay competitive September 8, 2013 · · Users can transfer their shopping list and dietary restrictions and preferences from a smartphone to the cart. When a user places an item into the SmarterCart that conflicts with his or her diet — say, a box of pasta that isn't gluten-free — the self-propelled cart sends an alert and can lead the shopper to alternative products.
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Natural retail openings to know about:

  • September 3, 2013 · · Two local women plan to open a small grocery store in downtown Fredericksburg focused on organic, locally sourced, all-natural and gluten-free products. Kathy Craddock and Brandi Fishback hope to open Kickshaws Downtown Market this coming April. Open this article
  • September 16, 2013 · The Sacramento Bee · The Fresh Market, Inc., a North Carolina-based specialty grocery retailer, will open an Elk Grove store on Wednesday. Open this article
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