5 digital developments in the food trade

In 2021, restaurants and grocery stores have taken the digital developments that started the previous year to the next level, increasingly bringing the experience of food commerce into the realm of e-commerce. Now, with the number of coronavirus cases at an all time high, these companies have an opportunity to do what they did in the first months of 2020, leveraging stay-at-home trends to accelerate adoption. by consumers and lead to long-term habit changes.

Ghost kitchens become mainstream

With the ghost kitchen model proving profitable in the first few months of the pandemic, many brands went all out in 2021, growing their number of digital locations from a handful to hundreds. With the widespread adoption of third-party delivery markets, these delivery-only locations without a physical presence for consumers have become an industry mainstay.

“The dynamic of the 1950s where someone cooked six square meals a week and went out maybe once a week is going to be totally the opposite,” Marc Choy, president of Ghost Kitchen Brands, told Karen Webster in an interview. interview. “This is how people will know how to get their food – by ordering.”

Read more: In-store ghost kitchens turn Walmart into Uber Eats competitor

Still, some are skeptical of this rapid increase.

“You can take meal kits as an example, where a lot of companies have grown and been successful quickly and then failed,” Steve Fredette, president and co-founder of catering software company Toast, told PYMNTS, “And so there is a good question, with ghost kitchens or cloud kitchens, of their long term importance.

See also: Toast president says ghost kitchens aren’t a substitute for on-site dining

D2C Meal Solutions

While Fredette may have used meal kits as an example of a flawed business model, and while some brands may continue to make profits with their meal subscription businesses, major forays into the space by de large companies, supported by their large infrastructure and spending capacity, are more successful. For example, at the end of October, Kroger announced that its Home Chef brand, which offers meal kits and ready meals, had exceeded $ 1 billion in annual sales.

Related news: Kroger’s Home Chef sales soar as consumers seek an alternative to increasingly expensive restaurant delivery

Super fast delivery

In the grocery industry, on-demand deliveries within 10 to 15 minutes are quickly becoming available nationwide and globally. While the trend largely started with purpose-built startups, major players like DoorDash have recently joined in, launching their own lightning-fast efforts.

“While humans once had to fetch water from a well, we have long developed systems to deliver this essential resource directly to the taps in our homes,” Slava Bocharov, Buyk co-founder, told PYMNTS in an interview. “We believe that as super-fast grocery delivery becomes more widely available, it will be seen as critical infrastructure for daily life in the same way.”

You may also like: Lightning-fast grocery delivery companies expect a future of consolidation

Beer, wine and spirits Get treatment on demand

Throughout the past year, Uber completed its acquisition of on-demand alcoholic beverage delivery service Drizly, DoorDash added alcoholic beverages to its market, and Instacart expanded the reach of its beer delivery options, from wine and spirits. However, e-commerce adoption remains low. This year, with on-demand delivery now more available than ever, brands, retailers, restaurants and markets are likely to find creative and compelling ways to engage consumers in taking advantage of the options available to them.

For more: On-demand alcohol delivery options grow despite slow adoption

Frictionless payment

The frictionless checkout in the style of Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology took hold internationally in 2021 in restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores, with brands ranging from Starbucks to Tesco in passing through Circle K moving in space.

“In five years, I think you will have thousands of independent stores”, Yair Holtzer, vice-president of business development for the cashierless payment solution Trigo, predicted to PYMNTS. “You can still shop in the traditional way, if you want… but you can also choose the green lane to just go in, grab the items and exit. “

Related: Frictionless Checkout Brings the Convenience of Ecommerce to Stores to Drive Conversion



On:More than half of American consumers think biometric authentication methods are faster, more convenient, and more reliable than passwords or PINs, so why are less than 10% using them? PYMNTS, working with Mitek, surveyed over 2,200 consumers to better define this perception gap in usage and identify ways in which businesses can increase usage.

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