by SNEB member Ellen Schusterer, MS
Cheap food trending, the metaverse, food delivery, visual online ads, an update on the 2 food illness complaints in the news and more!
This article (https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/gadgets/2022/06/19/affordable-tech-phones-earbuds/7650676001/) mentions a huge spike in Google searches for ‘cheap’ and ‘affordable’ in June…see the trend line for Google ‘cheap food’ searches (https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=Cheap%20food&geo=US).
A 1-hour webinar explores the metaverse…the first part focuses on how the metaverse grocery store could operate – curated/personalized grocery shelves that align with an individual’s preferences and bundles of ‘suggested’ items for ‘discovery’ by the shopper (translation: discovery – the metaverse version of brick & mortar impulse buys); grocery stores need to approach the metaverse as a way to meet shopper needs for time saving, convenience (https://www.supermarketguru.com/the-lempert-report/exploring-the-retail-metaverse/); accompanying report highlights shopper interest in having ‘fun’ when shopping online for groceries (https://www.incontextsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Vcomm-ebook-2022.pdf). The retail RD and the metaverse (https://retaildietitians.com/articles/the-rds-role-in-the-metaverse/). Wendy’s Sunrise City, in the metaverse, focuses on breakfast (https://www.nrn.com/quick-service/wendy-s-expands-virtual-wendyverse-sunrise-city).
Have you tried a TikTok food trend? Some ripple effects of TikTok on our food habits include limited ingredients at groceries; Walmart adding a ‘Trending on TikTok’ section with ingredients recently mentioned on the site (https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/tiktok-trends-ripple-effects/). TikTok’s effect on our relationship with food: pros and cons (https://www.michigandaily.com/arts/how-tiktok-has-transformed-our-love-affair-with-food/). YouTube Shorts rivaling TikTok (https://www.marketingdive.com/news/how-youtubes-brewing-tiktok-rivalry-could-impact-mobile-video-strategies/625854/). Meet the Chipotle Creator Class, influencers that work with Chipotle (https://www.qsrmagazine.com/fast-casual/how-chipotles-candice-beck-builds-social-media-relevancy).
Online ads now and in the future
McDonald’s, KFC see top 2021 YouTube ad views; they’re popular w/Gen Z, gamers (https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/373941/mcdonalds-kfc-top-qsrs-for-youtube-video-views-i.html?edition=126271). Instacart this summer – more shoppable videos: more add-to-cart opportunities (https://www.marketingdive.com/news/instacart-shoppable-ad-units-unilever-mondelez-pep/624527/). Google to move beyond just links in a search…imagine visual ads (https://www.marketingdive.com/news/google-marketing-search-shopping-YouTube-Shorts/624321/). Roku’s shoppable Walmart TV ads (https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/roku-air-shoppable-walmart-ads/).
Why are there so many fast food breakfast deals? Breakfast is the most profitable part of the fast food menu; people returning to work means more revenue. Many chains offer discounts that can only be ordered through their apps which is a ‘win’ for the chain as they also get user data (https://www.tastingtable.com/873364/why-so-many-fast-food-chains-are-suddenly-offering-breakfast-deals/). McDonald’s virtual summer camp on its mobile app aims at Gen Z with deals, menu hacks and special programming (https://www.marketingdive.com/news/mcdonalds-virtual-summer-camp/626391/).
Voice assistants and impulse buys
Use of these devices lead to repeat online orders (https://corp.smartbrief.com/original/2022/06/how-to-create-successful-in-person-digital-candy-shopping).
Food delivery access
Brookings report – 93% of us have food delivery access (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/93-of-us-has-food-delivery-access-but-barriers-remain-report/623885/); (https://www.brookings.edu/essay/delivering-to-deserts-new-data-reveals-the-geography-of-digital-access-to-food-in-the-us/). Marketplace notes broadband access, need for farmers markets, grocery stores and healthy corner stores (https://www.marketplace.org/2022/05/16/could-food-delivery-apps-help-close-the-grocery-gap/).
A consumer survey finds that online food shopping is a convenience for families but it comes at a financial cost (https://www.tastingtable.com/911159/new-data-reveals-unexpected-truth-about-online-grocery-shopping/). A new e-commerce approach for the suburbs – bundling orders from multiple retailers (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/multiple-grocers-one-order-how-a-heartland-delivery-firm-is-recreating-mu/626040/). Sprouts accepts EBT SNAP through Instacart (https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/sprouts-accepts-ebt-snap-digital-payment/). Kroger launches digital farmers’ market for unique local vendors not found in stores across 60 miles in Atlanta serving 28 counties (https://www.supermarketperimeter.com/articles/8222-kroger-launches-digital-farmers-market). Walmart’s new fulfillment centers would provide next-day/2-day delivery to 75% of U.S. (https://www.retaildive.com/news/walmart-plots-fulfillment-centers-jobs/624868/). Walmart online grocery delivery links to older caregiver app (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/walmart-grocery-access-older-adult-care/625083/). Blue Apron non-subscription meal kits/heat-and-eat meals now on Walmart online – the first meal kit provider on the site (https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/blue-apron-launches-non-subscription-meals-walmartcom/). Hungryroot, online grocer, has weekly member grocery lists/meal plans making it easier for repeat buys (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/hungryroot-buck-ship-to-home-decline-grocers/625525/).
Fast food/fast casual
Chipotle to test walk-up pick-up windows after app order (https://www.nrn.com/fast-casual/chipotle-mexican-grill-tests-adding-walk-windows-existing-locations). Panera-To-Go opens first digital-only restaurant (https://www.restaurantdive.com/news/panera-open-first-digital-delivery-pickup-only-restaurant/625267/). Fast food restaurants continue opening no-dining locations: Taco Bell, Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, Schlotzsky’s (https://restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/fast-food-restaurants-do-away-dining-rooms).
The drones are coming! The drones are coming! No…they’re here…Walmart to ramp up this delivery option (up to 10 pounds in 30 minutes) in 6 states by the end of 2022 (https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/walmart-drone-delivery-service-expansion-droneup-arkansas-amazon/624274/); NC and TX ice cream delivery by drone in under 3 minutes (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/flying-ice-cream-unilever-links-with-drone-delivery-service-flytrex/624241/).
Food/food illness complaints in the news
Seven states moving to online WIC benefits are months from implementation – likely 2023 – leading moms to use food dollars for formula (https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/30/health/wic-online-formula-shortage/index.html). The July 1, 2022 (episode 265) Food Safety Talk podcast has two university food safety specialists discussing the latest about the Daily Harvest and Lucky Charm reported illnesses at 31 minutes in (for a 16 minute segment) (https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/food-safety-talk/food-safety-talk-265-lbkQ81adVHM/).
Health and fitness podcast downloads led all downloads again (https://www.insideradio.com/podcastnewsdaily/health-fitness-category-was-big-winner-last-week-says-podtrac/article_9c8037b4-f702-11ec-a79b-4b6a4569cfea.html).
Global digital strategies that discourage breast-feeding include influencers, online content/baby clubs (https://www.foodpolitics.com/2022/07/digital-strategies-for-discouraging-breastfeeding-who-report/).