IGD reveals top trends for Asian grocery in 2019
Social shopping, technology and health are among the top five trends set to influence Asia’s grocery retail market over the next five years, according to research by IGD.
While more and more consumers are opting for health and freshness, they are not willing to compromise on convenience and expect to be able to shop anywhere, anytime and anyhow they like.
Nick Miles, head of Asia-Pacific at IGD, expects retailers to adapt to meet these consumer demands.
“Over the last 12 months, Asia’s grocery landscape has continued to develop rapidly,” Miles said. “Retailers have been opening new stores at pace, stores are getting smaller, the offline and online worlds continue to merge and new technology is being used to make operations more efficient.”
“In 2019, we expect this pace of change to continue. Retailers will keep refining their operations to meet growing demand for convenience; partnerships will continue to shape the future of online; health and wellness and social media are set to grow in importance; and in-store technology will fundamentally change the way people shop.”
As lifestyles change and get busier, more and more Asian consumers are choosing to shop little and often. Convenience chains are expanding, stores are using space in new ways, retailers are developing smaller and more unique stores, and online delivery times are being cut.
“Convenience is not purely about speed. Retailers that are able to meet different shopper demands through their stores, ranges, services and the experience they offer will win. These experiences will need to be fast, relevant and seamless, so suppliers will need to ensure they also have the necessary flexibility in their businesses,” Miles said.
Health and freshness
Better education, government campaigns and previous food safety scares have resulted in increased awareness among Asian consumers of the importance of healthy eating and product sourcing. Retailers are now using innovative concepts, layouts and technologies to highlight healthy offerings.
“Fresh food, foodservice options and health and wellness ranges will feature more prominently in-store in the future as retailers respond to changing shopping habits – so suppliers should be aware that competition for space in-store will intensify,” Miles said.
Social media continues to influence shopper behaviour and new innovations will continue to emerge in 2019, as retailers and suppliers come up with new ways to make online shopping more social.
“Shopping via social media platforms is a key route to market in the region. Retailers and suppliers must therefore truly understand the landscape and have a clear social media strategy to engage shoppers and stay relevant,” Miles said.
Digital and technological innovations in Asia are expected to make an impact in 2019 as retailers attempt to differentiate their offer and raise service levels.
Miles said this could have “big implications for how shoppers interact with brands in store” in the future.
“It is not only about a focus on customers – it’s also about reducing costs and improving efficiency. Suppliers need to understand which technologies are set to have the biggest impact on their category.”
Partnerships shaping the future of online
In recent years, major partnerships have helped share expertise and accelerate online growth across Asia. IGD expects more partnerships to emerge in 2019 and existing ones to develop further.
“Asia’s online landscape is incredibly fluid and competitive. Collaboration between partners will help online expand both within individual markets and across borders, faster than previously thought. Suppliers should ensure they stay on top of the latest online partnerships,” Miles said.