Phil's 2016 Food Trend Forecast - Trend #1

The Lempert Report
November 16, 2015

Agnosticism. Whose customer is it anyway?

This year, more than ever before it is critical to take a look at just how consumers and retailers are changing the food world as the battle for the American Meal heats up.

Trend #1.  Agnosticism: Whose customer is it anyway? Consumers are becoming brand agnostic. Retailer agnostic. Daypart agnostic. Amazon started it all as they own the customer experience and the brands they offer have little or no relationship with the buyer. Brands like Hilton or Starwood know less about you than Expedia or Kayak. Because of the sophisticated online tools, consumers no longer care which hotel brands they book. Their preferences are stored and become richer in data and proactively make suggestions to insure each experience is successful. This is the trend you should be most worried about as retailers lose their relationships with food shoppers to brands like Instacart and Uber who are making the retailer or restaurant practically invisible as they continue to offer choices from multiple outlets.  They own the customer.  For supermarkets to win back the relationship they must become a one-stop “eco-system” similar to Yelp’s Eat 24: offering reviews, recipes, selection, ordering, ePayment, tracking and delivery. It’s time to fight for that shopper relationship