“Emphasize ‘less is more’ – fewer ingredients, free from growth hormones, free from GMOs and free from artificial…28% of shoppers want minimal processing and one-quarter say they want a short list of ingredients. IFIC’s Annual Food & Health Survey reports that 36% of shoppers say they worry about chemicals in their foods; and foods labeled with a health attribute enjoyed a sales increase of 13% in the last year vs. overall flat sales throughout the store.”

--a 2016 trend from Phil Lempert, SupermarketGuru

Grocerants can grow sales and a clientele faster – and polish their total-store better-for-you image – when they develop menus and market ingredient decisions that match today’s new way of eating.

It’s a powerful way to make it easy for Millennials and others to find what they want in your stores.

According to IFIC’s 2015 data, they are specifically demanding:

  • Products with five ingredients or less
  • Nothing artificial in their foods
  • Forty percent say it is very important that foods use all-natural ingredients free from GMOs and free from artificial flavors and colors
  • Twenty-eight percent want minimal processing, and 25% want local sourcing

Shoppers of all generations are willing to pay more for premium distinctions such as high protein, fresh, less processed, nutrient dense, and lower sugar/higher energy.

Since many established restaurant chains are deep into this trend, the sooner grocerants are on par to compete, the better. A few examples in the marketplace: Chipotle purges GMOs; Panera Bread eliminates 150+ artificial ingredients; Taco Bell and Pizza Hut eliminate artificial colors and flavors; Subway eliminates azodicarbonamide; Au Bon Pain, Chick-fil-A, Tyson and McDonald’s eliminate human antibiotics in chicken.

TGG recommends that supermarket and c-store grocerants use menus and chalkboards to let customers know their “free-from” choices. The more the better in foods and beverages to move the consumer demand needle, but also note that early experiences with plant-based containers and utensils show far less impact on grocerant sales. 

TGG also suggests educating grocerant staff about “free-from” offers, so they can field questions from shoppers. Also, use signs to cross-reference any products that are the same in grocerants and on store shelves – such as the use of organic tomatoes in produce and in fresh-made pizzas at Mariano’s.  

Subscribe to The Great Grocerant newsletters