With 2014 just a few days away, experts have been peering into their crystal balls to try to predict what the next year will hold. SN rounded up projections for food and retail to see how plausible they were.
Restaurant consultant Baum + Whiteman foresees Americans delving into Asian seasonings like fish sauce and gochujang, a Korean hot bean paste, Huffington Post reports. The former is a logical next step from everyday soy sauce, while the latter will appeal to the sriracha-obsessed. And SN’s own predictions point to big benefits to the retailers that are able to keep up with ethnic food trends.
On the business side of things, Bernard Luthi, CMO and COO of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, predicts a few general retail trends that supermarkets would do well to keep in mind as they try to grow online grocery. According to Business Insider, Luthi believes retailers will start stocking the items consumers post on social media platforms like Twitter and Pinterest, and stores will track customers as they jump from mobile apps to tablets to desktops.
Considering many supermarkets are still figuring out how best to use social media and have been slower to adopt consumer-facing technologies than some other industries, my bet is these trends may take the grocery industry longer to implement.
Like SN consultant Daymon Worldwide projects a proliferation of small-format stores in 2014, although the firm broadens the definition to dollar stores, convenient superstores, express stores, discounters and small specialty stores. Traditional supermarkets are no stranger to competition from other formats, but this year the Wal-Marts of the world may lose out to the little guys.
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