Key trends for retail in 2018

The Institute of Grocery Distribution has indentified the top five trends that retailers can expect to see over the following 12 months.

The following predictions have been identified by IGD’s international research, shopper insights and catalogue of global retail innovations, to provide exclusive expertise into the key areas set to shake up the industry in 2018.

Toby Pickard, Senior Innovations and Trends Analyst, IGD said: “We believe the following five trends will become more prevalent within the global food and grocery industry, and we will see retailers introduce numerous initiatives to address these trends that will shape the future of the industry.”

Premiumisation of private label

Retailers are increasingly using private label to appeal to a wide range of life stages as well as a change in shopping habits. The growing investment in these products to create a high quality offer is increasing the demand for ranges that meet shoppers’ needs for excellent value and great quality. Indeed, 75 per cent of UK shoppers now believe the quality of private label products has improved over the last couple of years, and many retailers are putting more emphasis on affordable premium private label ranges, which we expect to continue.

Becoming hyperlocal

Despite shoppers being globally minded, the desire to have links to local regions and buy local products will increase over the next year. This approach will result in retailers selling produce that will only be available for a short period of time, due to seasonality and availability, creating uniqueness and increased shopper desire to get these products when available.

This will introduce greater variation for shoppers but create more complexity within the supply chain. As stores aim to rotate produce and range more often there will be greater efficiencies, collaboration and communication within the supply chain.

Delivering the goods

Shopper expectations are continually increasing when it comes to getting the goods they want in a quick and easy way, with retailers so far meeting and even exceeding the demand with innovative delivery solutions. Increased competition amongst retailers to deliver to shoppers in more innovative and creative ways is therefore expected.

Retailers will aim to utilise the data and insights into shoppers’ purchasing behaviours to understand and potentially anticipate what shoppers want, when they want and where they want their goods, before shoppers even know themselves.

Leading in lifestyle

Health and wellness will continue to be a focus throughout 2018. Retailers are therefore expected to expand designated zones in-store and develop lifestyle-focused formats.

Retailers will offer more tailored, value-added lifestyle choices through the online channel, where they can help shoppers quickly and easily find products that help them lead healthier lives. With two-thirds (65 per cent) of shoppers saying the clarity of nutritional information on pack is important to them when making product decisions, there will be a greater role for industry to support shoppers in achieving healthy lifestyles. Vegetarian, flexitarian, better-for-you, free-from and clean-living labels will continue to be among the fastest growing and will be a priority investment area for retailers. As mainstream retailers continue to create an appealing offer in health and wellness, specialist retailers in this area will become increasingly challenged.

Fulfilling stores

Physical stores are having to work harder than ever before to bring shoppers through the front door, with pressure mounting for retailers to cater to the rise of the ‘omni-channel shopper’ by offering a shopping experience that blends online, offline and big data to reinvent retail.  As ecommerce transforms the grocery shopping experience there will be an increasing number of innovations that will showcase exciting produce, fulfil online orders in less time and offer more in-store shopper engagement.