Is the future of grocery refrigerated?

As more products migrate from the center of the store to the refrigerated case, is there potential for a new store concept focused entirely on fresh?

Eric Pierce, Director of Strategy and Insights

November 12, 2014

2 Min Read
Is the future of grocery refrigerated?

I’m not sure I’m ready to call it a future market prediction, but part of me believes the future of retail could be refrigerated. That's a bold statement, but let’s take a look at the trends which appear to be real and which could make this a possibility:

  • Entrepreneurs and manufacturers are increasingly willing to experiment with simple product formulations with fewer preservatives

  • Consumers and manufacturers are looking for ways to maximize nutrient profiles leading to reduced use of nutrient diminishing pasteurization methods

Yet convenience still reigns supreme in many situations and occasions, even for the natural and organic shopper.

The result appears to be the beginning of a migration of products from the center of the store to the refrigerated case at the perimeter. The following are examples of traditionally shelf-stable products beginning to find their way to the retailers’ refrigerator:

  • Snack bars (e.g., Perfect Bar)

  • Personal care creams (e.g., Dairy Face)

  • Fresh and raw pet foods (e.g., Primal Pet Foods)

  • Fermented items like sauerkraut (e.g., Farmhouse Culture)

  • Cold pressed HPP juices (e.g., name one, any one -- this space is exploding)

  • Condiments (e.g., Rejuvenative Foods)

  • Ready-to-eat soups (e.g., Boulder Organics)

  • Raw supplements (e.g., Garden of Life)

  • Gluten-free breads/products (e.g., again pick any, there are plenty)

  • Cold brew coffee (e.g., Grady’s Cold Brew)

With increasing demand for this limited shelf space, one would expect these cold displays to continue to grow in size.

So, I ask: Is the future of grocery retail refrigerated?

This may be way out there, but does anyone see the potential for a new store concept focused on fresh, so much so that the entire store is refrigerated to 50°F, where you need to open the unrefrigerated case to pick up bananas and other items stored at room temperature?

Just a thought.

What implications will more refrigerated products have for manufacturers, retailers and consumers?


About the Author(s)

Eric Pierce

Director of Strategy and Insights, New Hope Natural Media

Eric J. Pierce is a proven strategic marketing and market research leader with nearly 20 years of research and insights experience. In various consulting roles, Pierce has been instrumental in maximizing the value of his clients’ business and marketing investments and has built a reputation for being a great partner, problem solver and advisor.

Ever curious about the intersection of business and psychology and with a passion for natural products and the resources of New Hope Natural Media at his back Pierce is uniquely positioned to help advance the growth of the industry.

In his role as director of strategy and insights at New Hope Natural Media, Eric is responsible for providing vision and leadership for the NEXT™ brand and its mission to deliver intelligence, insights and innovation to the natural products industry.

Subscribe and receive the latest updates on trends, data, events and more.
Join 57,000+ members of the natural products community.

You May Also Like