Grocery Executives Feel a Mix of Pride and Fear About Technology

Survey uncovers competing attitudes about disruptions

Author: Jen King

August 10, 2018

Grocery executives are proud of the technological progress their industry has made in recent years, but at the same time, they remain fearful of being left behind. 

More than four in five US food retail executives said that while grocers may not be as innovative as those in other categories, the grocery sector has come a long way in a short period of time, according to a June 2018 survey from Phononic, in partnership with Regina Corso Consulting.

But for many executives, worries lurk. Despite taking steps to innovate after being stagnant for decades, roughly half (49%) of respondents said that grocery stores haven't figured out how to use technology like other retailers have. And nearly three-quarters fret that if grocery stores fail to enter the “modern age,” more shoppers will forgo physical supermarkets, and look for alternative ways to buy food

While the threat of digital disruption remains very real, consumers haven’t fully come around to purchasing groceries digitally.

We forecast that only 2.8% of US food and beverage sales will take place online in 2018.

A May 2018 Morning Consult survey found that the primary reason 65% of US internet users haven’t purchased groceries online was because they still prefer to see and touch the products in person. Others simply “enjoy [their] weekly trip to the store,” according to a 2017 ShopperKit survey.