The top 5 grocery retail trends to watch out for heading into 2023


As retailers head into 2023, the industry must face many challenges, such as keeping stores and warehouses staffed in what many fear is a foundational readjustment in the labour market.

With the food industry constantly evolving, the future of grocery retail is at the mercy of global trends such as inflation and labour shortages, according to Mikko Kärkkäinen, CEO and co-founder of RELEX Solutions.

“The future of the food and grocery sector is uncertain with external forces set to rock the boat,” says Karkkainen. “Increased inflation, supply chain issues and labour shortages, to name are few, have shifted the power dynamics across the industry. After attending Grocery Shop 2022, our team at RELEX has identified the top trends grocery retailers should be aware of heading into 2023”.

1. Inflation continues to substantially impact consumers’ buying behaviour.

Retailers and consumer goods companies can fight inflation and cut costs by taking advantage of supply chain optimisation through automation. Furthermore, retailers are introducing or increasing their private-label offerings to meet the increased demand for less-expensive options. 

2. Supply chain uncertainty is an ongoing concern for retailers and consumer goods companies.

Retailers and consumer goods companies need to improve how they collaborate to battle uncertainty together. New technology investments can help businesses gain visibility into their supply chain to anticipate and respond to disruptions. 

3. Retailers are still grappling with a worldwide labour shortage.

By digitising operations and optimising capacity, retailers can better support their existing workforce and ensure that the right people are handling the right tasks. Retailers can also increase retention while improving employee engagement and making their work more rewarding by implementing the latest tools and technology. 

4. Online retail growth has stabilised, and omnichannel is here to stay.

Retailers are removing silos between their e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses and managing both as a single and unified business. Grocery retailers must ensure consumers have multiple delivery options and that products are in stock and available to both online and in-person shoppers.

5. Sustainability is growing in importance.

Today’s consumers choose where they shop partly based on their perception of a retailer’s sustainability efforts. Therefore, sustainability efforts will not only help reduce waste but also improve reputation and profitability. 

“It seems 2023 will be another challenging year. Addressing these trends will be vital for retailers and consumer goods companies navigating the storm. Don’t worry though, 2023 should be seen as an opportunity to go back and review the pivot-related changes of the last few years to see how grocery retailers can adapt and grow stronger,” says Karkkainen.

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