With Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods, the question of what’s next for grocery stores is top of mind. Some say that Amazon jumped into this market at the wrong time, others say that Amazon is gearing up to own all aspects of food provisions, from supermarkets to prepared-meals delivery.
When asked by CNBC for her opinion, Faith Popcorn—the noted futurist with a 95% accuracy rate who has been called “the trend oracle”—said that “grocery stores are dead.” Popcorn, along with having written several books including ground-breaking best-seller, The Popcorn Report – offers future-focused strategic consultancy through her company, Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve.
Regarding Amazon’s new grocery venture, Popcorn believes that the average grocery store can no longer offer the consumer what they want. Popcorn says that “the aisles are filled with things you can have delivered, the spaces are not clean, inviting or engaging.” She sees the grocery experience moving completely online. Amazon is not the only business making this shift. Walmart has begun their own online grocery service, while Target has launched their same-day delivery service. Popcorn imagines that soon, one will have options curated to one’s tastes and physiological needs, seamlessly delivered in the burgeoning On-Demand Economy. For example, she has said that an implanted chip will read your blood biochemistry and detect what foods would best optimize your health or correct any deficiencies. One will also be able to have anything from ingredients to meal kits to beautifully prepared, ready-to-eat meals delivered in moments.
She predicts an end to the traditional grocery experience unless grocers can offer something that will lure customers back, whether that’s an educational component or a deeply engaging experience. Until bricks-and-mortar stores offer consumers added value, they will have no reason to leave the comfort of their home – and online shopping – when it comes to stocking their kitchen.
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