Grocers Struggle with Sustainability Tech
At a Glance
- Grocery Doppio surveyed more than 840 shoppers and 170 grocery executives to uncover the current state of sustainability.
- 83% of grocers see value in leveraging technology to help meet their sustainability goals, but just 41% believe their current solutions are effective.
- 87% of grocers say that AI is an important sustainability piece, but only 9% are scaling its use.
- 73% of shoppers prefer to shop at a grocer with clear sustainability principles.
- 78% of grocers believe sustainable practices will help them differentiate from the competition.
Sustainability is a vital piece of the consumer consciousness, and it cannot be ignored. Although grocers know the necessity and power of a sustainable business approach, many struggle to implement a successful tech-enabled agenda.
To uncover grocers’ current sustainability approach and how it melds with consumer sentiment, Grocery Doppio surveyed more than 840 shoppers and 170 grocery executives for its recently released “Sustainability in Grocery” report. The full report is available for free here. Below is a quick look at some of the findings, challenges, and potential solutions presented in the report.
Sustainable business practices allow grocers to attract eco-conscious consumers to their brand while simultaneously making a positive impact on both the global environment and the local community.
Seventy-eight percent of grocers believe sustainable practices help differentiate them from the competition. Not only will their eco-consciousness help them stand out in the crowd, but grocers believe it will help them capture more of the coveted Gen Z population. Eighty-three percent of grocers believe sustainable practices will help them attract more Gen Z shoppers, and 71% believe it will help them attract vital Gen Z associates.
Sustainability is an intriguing balancing act for consumers. Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) of shoppers say they would prefer to shop at a grocer with clear sustainability principles, but just 13% are willing to pay a premium for it. Yes, consumers care about sustainability and want to do their part to ensure that the products they buy and the grocers they buy from do the least harm to the earth and its inhabitants — but their convictions have an economic threshold.
To win consumer hearts, minds, and wallets, grocers must provide product information transparency, non-GMO and plant-based product alternatives, and use less plastic packaging, but also — and this is key — provide these benefits at a competitive price point.
The good news for grocers is that more than half (54%) of them believe that adopting sustainable practices can help them reduce operating expenses in the future. Those operational savings could be used to keep the cost of sustainable goods competitive with non-sustainable products and win greater market share.
As with most modern grocery challenges, digital technology offers promise, but unfortunately, many grocers feel that they have yet to tap its potential. According to the ‘Sustainability in Grocery’ report, 83% of grocers see the value of leveraging technology to help meet their sustainability goals, but just 41% believe their present tech solutions are effective.
When asked what is stopping them from using technology more effectively to improve sustainability, grocers point to inadequate budgets; absence of specialized knowledge; and the lack of a long-term, tech-based strategy.
Sustainability and AI
One technology that could have an immediate and lasting impact on grocers’ sustainability efforts if leveraged correctly is artificial intelligence. Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) of grocers say that AI is an important piece in their pursuit of their sustainability goals, but just 38% are experimenting with its use, and a paltry 9% are actually scaling its use across the enterprise.
To uncover the role AI can play in helping grocers reach their sustainability goals, Grocery Doppio examined more than 20 individual sustainability use cases in the report and provided insight into how each of these use cases could be positively impacted through the effective use of AI.
Be sure to check out the full report on sustainability in grocery to learn how artificial intelligence can help bring your sustainability efforts to the next level and provide the foundation upon which to differentiate yourself from the competition.