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Rapidly evolving technologies and consumer preferences are having profound effects on the grocery industry. This is evident throughout the store, but some of the biggest obstacles and opportunities lie within the fresh category. Fresh presents unique challenges to grocery ecommerce as well as to automation, and the quality and variety of a retailer’s fresh selection are significant differentiators. Whatever else changes, fresh will continue to play a vital role in food retail, even as technology enables new products and sources.

This year, grocers across the country have stepped-up their various acts of generosity with personalized programs and initiatives to impact and benefit their communities. Here are the “best of the best” in the four categories of the Community Outreach Awards.

Food retailers are frequently at the forefront of introducing emerging technologies that help protect public health. Yet, artificial intelligence and machine learning cannot solve all food safety problems by themselves.

These days, convenience is the name of the game. Just look at how shoppers select their primary store. According to FMI’s 2019 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report, 67% of shoppers rate convenience from home as one of the key attributes of their primary grocery store and 50% say a store must be convenient from work or along daily commute. These findings are even more pronounced for Gen Z and Millennial shoppers. With the need for ease and simplification so high among shoppers, why would more and more consumers be willing to inconvenience themselves when it comes to foodservice?

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