The Future of Food and Grocery Distribution: Things to Look Out For


Many people are predicting that artificial intelligence (AI) will be the future of every retail experience. In fact, there are a number of companies world-wide that are testing everything from robots that can detect if a spill has occurred in a grocery environment if someone accidentally knocks something off a shelf and it breaks or if there is a mess at a dispensed beverage station, to autonomous convenience stores that don’t require cashiers to assist customers with check-out. While these ideas seem very futuristic and may not be in full-scale production for several years, it does appear to be the wave of the distant future.

For now, AI is helping store owners keep track of what their customers are purchasing so they can keep up with inventory. This data is especially effective when used in conjunction with a loyalty program that tracks individual customer purchases so special deals can be created for each person. With geo-fencing technology, a coupon for an item that a customer regularly buys can be generated when that customer is within a certain radius of the store to entice them to come in and shop. AI can also be used to track consumer trends, to let store owners know what customers are buying today and what may no longer be in style. This is particularly important when product manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to gain sales traction by creating niche products that change consumers’ perception of what they should be buying.

Packaged meals are one example. When first introduced, “TV dinners” were a novel idea that had limited success decades ago, but busy consumers are now looking for quick options that provide health-conscious benefits, and healthy packaged meals are rapidly gaining in popularity with grocery store distributors.

The bottom line though is that knowing what consumers want is only half the battle to being successful in the food and grocery industry. Food distribution companies know that being able to keep those products in stock is also vitally important. Atlantic Dominion Distributors understands that convenience stores often have limited shelf space and don’t have a lot of storage area for inventory. With our next-day delivery service in VA, NC and SC, you can use data to see what customers are buying, then simply give us a call to let us know what you need to restock. We’ll be there the next day for you to keep your business operations running smoothly and your customers happy.