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Changes in modern family life, eating occasions, making connections and technology will determine how successful food retailers will be in the foreseeable future.
Mary Kay O'Connor, VP of education for the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, addressed these areas in "Food Trendscape 2014," the lead general session on the last day of the IDDBA Show, Tuesday morning in Denver. (This trends presentation historically was delivered by IDDBA Executive Director Carol Christison, who died earlier this year).
Among the numerous key points in the trends presentation:
- Today's marketplace resides in both the real and virtual worlds, creating a 24/7 "one-stop life shop."
- Households and families are shrinking, with single-person households more plentiful.
- In five years, Baby Boomers will control nearly three-quarters of all disposable income.
- Millennials' earning power will exceed that of Boomers by 2018.
- The industry is shifting toward smaller format stores.
- Society has evolved from a cooking to eating culture; decision time is shrinking to within an hour of eating, and eating within an hour of purchasing food.
- Snacking is half of all eating occasions, with 85 percent of snack purchases from retailers.
- Consumers define "healthful" as fresh, natural, nutritious, local and sustainable.
- "Local" and "artisan" are in.
- Food trends on the rise, according to culinary and restaurant groups: Peruvian, Filipino, New Nordic, Turkish, "Next Mex," Korean, Southeast Asian, Northern Chinese, Oaxacan, Kashmiri.
- Consumers want simple, sustainable, alternative proteins.
- Grocers are part of the community fabric - service providers, classes, philanthropic effforts.
- Wearable technology like Google Glass will transform the shopping experience and create new channels for reaching consumers.
- Retailers can pinpoint customers' mobile divices in-store and send targeted messaging.
- Click-and-collect services will allow customers to order online and pick up purchases at a convenient location.
While the trends presentation provided a wealth of value information, Tuesday morning's main draw, as evidence by crowd numbers, was Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who discussed his history in the NFL and philosophies of life and leadership on the playing field. Giant Eagle's Voni Woods, Butterball's Bill Klump and WMMB's David Leonhardi led Manning in a Q&A discussion before releasing the crowd to a final four hours on the show floor.
On the Expo Floor
A few last stops on Tuesday:
- Perdue Foods, offering (among other tidbits) chicken sticks and bites with waffle and pretzel coatings.
- Hope Foods sampled its new sriracha hummus, one of many items at the show delivering this popular fiery Asian flavor profile. Hope's dip offered great flavor without intense heat - delicious, but not vicious.
- Bakery Crafts demonstrated its digital ordering system for the in-store bakery, designed as a replacement for the tried-and-true cake book at the bakery counter. The system can be customized to each store's offerings, confirms orders via e-mail and sends customers pick-up reminders.
- John Morrell Food Group showed its Kretschmer brand's new Master's Cut line of ham and turkey in bold flavors like chipotle barbecue, Santa Fe, cajun, mequite bourbon and sweet molasses. Morrell also showed its Carando brand Italian sandwich kits, packed with enough ham, capicola, Gennoa salami and pepperoni for five sandwiches.
- Phillips Foods showed off its new crab cake minis, lobster mac & cheese and tuna burgers.
Meanwhile, Around Town ...
I stepped away from the show floor Tuesday afternoon to visit Kroger's Fresh Fare by King Soopers store in the Denver suburb of Englewood. Opened in December 2012, the smaller-format (30,000 square feet) store makes great use of vertical space for its design and decor, as well as its deli and bakery prep areas in a second-floor mezzanine to maximize sales space. The store also stresses fresh offerings and local products including Colorado-grown produce (see photo).
I also visited the site in downtown Denver where King Soopers is building a new urban format market as part of a retail and residential development near Coors Field and Union Station. This store is expected to open in spring 2015.
See my IDDBA coverage on Twitter @jimdudlicek