Consumers keep several priorities in mind as they shop for food in the grocery store, such as flavor, quality, healthiness and price. With recent international health concerns reaching a boiling point, food safety has quickly become top of mind for consumers nationwide, and their shopping habits reflect this shift in values.
Now more than ever, food safety and food waste are concerns shared by shoppers and retailers alike. As consumers try to make fewer trips to the store by buying in bulk, reducing spoilage can be a challenge. And as retailers deal with uncertain levels of demand, keeping products fresh and efficiently removing expired items from shelves can require extra attention.
The “fresh perimeter” of the grocery store—which includes fresh produce, fresh meats and the bakery—has seen some of the greatest growth in sales since the onset of the pandemic. For the week ending March 15, Supermarket Perimeter reports that in-store bakery category had risen 10.3%, and fresh produce saw a whopping 33.9% increase compared to the same time in 2019, according to IRI.
A joint research study by Suzy and New Hope Network provides further insight. As of April 6, consumers report buying more products that are healthier, higher-quality and use more natural ingredients. Thirty-nine percent report thinking more about their health, and 28% report eating healthier. This shift in demand has driven many consumers to shop the fresh perimeter more than they have in the past as they seek healthier choices.
For grocers, this presents both an opportunity and a challenge. While increases in demand have given sales a dramatic boost, fresh perimeter products can have some of the shortest shelf lives in the store, which complicates buying for retailers facing unpredictable fluctuations in demand and affects shopping habits for customers wanting to stock up on food without having to throw spoiled leftovers away.
Yet, for an issue fraught with so many variables, simple solutions can make a world of difference. Improving packaging for baked goods or attaching clear labels to fresh produce, for example, can be a gamechanger for both retailers and consumers. For retailers, quality packaging can help keep products fresh, and accurate labeling takes the guesswork out of when fresh goods need to be removed from shelves. For consumers, the packaging and labeling technology that guarantees freshness, sourcing and quality serves a similar purpose. As retailers and consumers navigate new shopping habits, including buying larger quantities of food with each purchase, maintaining and tracking freshness is just as important in the pantry at home as it is on store shelves.
The attention to detail needed for grocers to carefully pack each fresh product in tamper-proof packaging and attach the necessary labels requires precious time and labor, however. And with many grocery stores shifting to meet skyrocketing demand while navigating changes in health guidelines and restrictions, efficiency is key. Still, providing clear indicators of food safety in the fresh perimeter is more important than ever as shoppers decide whether or not to purchase.
For this reason, retailers can benefit from automating the process as much as possible, and Kwik Lok, a global leader in packaging solutions, is here to help. With solutions such as automatic bag closing machines, tamper-evident technology, labeling systems, laser printers and more, Kwik Lok ensures that each step of the packaging and labeling process is done right—and done quickly. As shopping trends change, time-saving solutions from Kwik Lok can help grocers confidently navigate fluctuations in demand without adding time or labor. To learn more about how Kwik Lok can help boost sales by ensuring food safety and reducing waste, visit kwiklok.com
This post is sponsored by Kwik Lok