How a permanent shift toward online grocery shopping means less innovation, fewer new brands

Contactless shopping and the elimination of free samples. Less browsing and “product discovery” and more focus on the expediency of repurchasing.

.

The pandemic has altered what products people purchase, when and where, who is buying them, and how much time is devoted to the endeavor.

.

With customers’ selections reinforced by online advertising, repeat ordering and other algorithms, the food system is becoming bifurcated as consumers who have expressed enthusiasm for healthful or artisanal foods are offered more of the same, while those with a penchant for highly processed comfort foods are inundated with opportunities to restock.

.

more men are claiming to be the primary shopper during the pandemic, and “they do buy different things and buy differently.” Men, Baum says, tend to favor efficiency: shopping club stores for bulk purchases, convenience stores and online. They report making fewer, larger, quicker trips for a narrower range of items.

.

Food manufacturers are focused on producing more of the top-selling varieties of a particular product, pushing off the launch of different flavors or spinoffs until sample stations can return.

 

Source: How a permanent shift toward online grocery shopping means less innovation, fewer new brands – The Washington Post