Will There Be Any Supermarkets Left By 2050?

supermarket-shoppingIn 1910, the four largest companies in American food sales accounted for less than 4% of the market. This statistic rose to 37% in 2010 and was expected to continue growing. Consolidation of suppliers leaves consumers fewer shopping alternatives and limited options. Here, Zintro experts discuss how these numbers have changed in recent years, any changes they have seen in their industries, and the implications for consumers.

Joyce Weinberg specializes in strategic ideation on brand building and consumer product goods marketing. She notes that “While there has been consolidation in food sales in the U.S. over the past several decades, this does not translate into all doom and gloom for the American consumer. New, entrepreneurial brands have been created and have prospered.”

“There is good news away from the mass market,” Weinberg continues. There has been a shift towards small, local producers over the past 5-10 years, and this is good for consumers and for our economy. All over the country farmers markets are flourishing and small manufacturers in the specialty food industry are finding loyal customers who demand quality ingredients. From frozen artisan macaroni and cheese to new products using Greek style yogurt, food entrepreneurs continue to bring their ideas to market. Yes, shelf space is dear and costly, but vendors are always looking the new new thing with fast turns, good profit and excitement to increase customer traffic.” Furthermore, Weinberg adds, “Internet startups like Fresh Direct, amazon.com and soap.com bring shopping ease to millions of consumers. Need a specialty ingredient or fresh food? A few clicks and it’ll be shipped or delivered to your door.”

Kenneth D. Weiss is a marketing advice expert focusing in food import and export consulting and feels that “Even though there is consolidation in the food industry, consumers have many options. There is no shortage of delicious, wholesome food items.” Weiss identifies “ongoing trends in the direction of healthier food -both fresh and processed- including organics, gluten-free, and super fruits such as camu camu and acaí. There is a related trend toward including less salt and using natural sweeteners such as monk fruit and stevia.” Weiss explains “Some consumers simply glance at ingredient lists and avoid food products that have long ones; [assuming] that a long list of ingredients includes artificial flavorings, colorants or preservatives that they would prefer not to consume.”

By Gabriela Meller

Zintro has experts in every industry sector, across every job function, in every geographic region. Recently, some of the following topics have seen inquiry activity: