Grocerant, the forced hybridization of retail

Grocerant
Michele Caprini
09 Dec 2019

Grocerant, the food sets the rules: supermarkets to survive must go through hybridization process. We were on this subject almost two years ago, when retail and the restaurant industry were realising a new common path. This was unexpected on the Italian market until recently.

Our events dedicated to Food and Beverage, after all, have characterized the technological response to the new consumption trends, which are more and more rewarding the consumption outside house and the "food and go" purchase of ready-made foods.

For the large-scale retail trade, it has become a necessity to correctly manage the reciprocity of phenomena. It can no more be confined to distributing agri-food production, nor can it consider food service as a third party business.

Grocerant is a neologism that embodies the change in retail, which is a new identity to all intents and purposes. The term is a combination of the words "grocery store" and "restaurant". Not only indicates the growing volume of " grab and go " freshly cooked food for quick consumption in supermarkets, but also the increasingly strong trend towards the development of specific and appropriately equipped areas for consumption, whether with or without table service.

A strategic outlook

These are very important customer rest areas, and for the retail sector it is now just as important to keep the client inside the commercial spaces as to allow him to empty the shelves, fill the trolley as well as possible and leave. The gastronomic counter widens and becomes a complementary alternative to the growing business models that focus on the cashless shop. This is happening while food delivery services became the most important phenomenon of catering since 2010.

For new consumers, grocerant is the best answer to the shortage of time (and will) to spend on cooking and quality, prefering cheaper alternatives. Grocerant is for retailers the best way to preserve and increase sales volumes, with better value for money.

 

The omnichannel food

As for American market, the essential reference for the evolution of western business, data are quite clear. In 1985, about 60% of food sales took place in the supermarket or, in general, in the grocery store. The remaining 40% was led by catering sector. Today, food service outlay accounts for more than half of the overall ($1.6 trillion), 1% more than conventional distribution.

If the split of sales channels, for retail, no longer has any strategic sense and the omni-channel offer is affirmed, the borders between distribution and distribution are also losing their purpose.

Today, food service outlay accounts for more than half of the overall ($1.6 trillion), 1% more than conventional distribution.

If the split of sales channels, for retail, no longer has any strategic sense and the omni-channel offer is affirmed, the borders between distribution and distribution are also losing their purpose. Lifestyle and cost-effectiveness lead the transformation. According to the Food Marketing Institute, 65% of Americans don't bother about dinner before they sit at their table and, as a result, 15% think about making up for it with convenience foods. Kroger, the number two retailer in the country after Walmart, has launched Kitchen 1883, a restaurant model that complements the grocery sale in the next door supermarkets.

Not only America

Japan is one of the areas with the highest density of grocerant development. The distribution leader AEON Retail is renovating its stores by dozens of units each year. The same aim is being pursued by another important player, Seijo Ishii, which is building a chain of wine bars and restaurants.

In Italy, the same attitude is reflected in a large-scale project, Iper la Grande. "Maestoso" is the new concept store that, in Monza, combines traditional distribution and catering in the same location. The market is on the ground floor and "la corte" on the upper floor, featuring six different tasting areas. "Maestoso" is an example of the development of the Italian grocerant.

It is a new step of development given by the growing importance of food in shopping centers. By 2020, a reorganization of the areas dedicated to catering is expected to reach 20% of the total commercial area.  At the beginning of the 2000s, it was only 7%.

 

Read also: Italian F&B, the world is smiling at us