Woolworths Future of Fresh report reveals the supermarket of 2034

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd September 2014
Woolworths Future of Fresh report reveals the supermarket of 2034
Woolworths Future of Fresh report reveals the supermarket of 2034

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has released a report which it said gives a “unique insight into the future of supermarket shopping.

Woolworths said its Future of Fresh report has built a picture of how Australia will be shopping in 20 years time, revealing a continuing shift towards fresh, hyper-local produce and the convergence of new technologies to make grocery shopping a more innovative and immersive experience.

Woolworths commissioned a national survey into Australia’s current shopping habits including research by leading social demographer Mark McCrindle and the Woolworths ‘Chair of  Innovation’, Professor Jan Recker at the Queensland University of Technology.

Report reveals predicting shopping habits of ‘Generation Alpha’

The Future of Fresh report reveals the way Australians will shop in 20 years time, focusing on the predicted purchasing habits of emerging “Generation Alpha”, new approaches to fresh food and a shift in the perception of the sense of what is local.

Technology important, but so is value for money

The report predicts that convergence of new technology will see shoppers adopt a hybrid approach to shopping, buying some items via devices for home delivery and enjoying the fresh food experience in-store as part of a wider community and lifestyle destination.

The report identified that new technologies, products and experiences would evolve but value for money would remain paramount, as the cost of living and financial  pressures continue to rise for Australian families. It also highlighted the key innovations and milestones Woolworths has celebrated across its 90-year history.

“As the Fresh Food People, Woolworths has a long term commitment to providing fresh, local and affordable produce for our 18 million weekly customers,” said Tjeerd Jegen, Managing Director of Woolworths Supermarkets. “As part of this commitment, we have had to evolve to meet the needs and tastebuds of a diverse and ever-changing Australia,” he said.

“This unique ability to look at how Aussies shop has enabled us to track the changing needs and wants of families over the past few decades and look at how this will change in the future,” Mr Jegen said. “The Future of Fresh report provides a unique insight into the shopping experience of 2034, a fresh future we’re excited to be a part of with our customers,” he said.

Woolworths Future of Fresh key findings:

Generation Alpha – the emerging grocery buyers of 2034:

  • Generation Alpha (those born from 2010) will be the most educated generation Australia has ever seen, with 90 per cent predicted to complete Year 12
  • Pushing back on traditional adult milestones, 1 in 3 Alpha shoppers will never have children, and where the couple-only family has replaced the Australian nuclear family as the most commonplace household  type
  • Generation Alpha shoppers will likely have their pantry and dry items delivered to their homes, allowing them to focus the in-store shopping experience on fresh, hyper-local food

Ultra-local fresh food becomes top priority:

  • Customers will look for a ‘back-to-basics’ approach when it comes to buying fresh food
  • The providence of locally-sourced foods becomes one of the key deciding factors in fresh food purchase, as the local produce ‘sphere of influence’ gets smaller and supermarkets sell more local food for local people
  • Ten per cent more Australians feel that purchasing locally-sourced food is important to them compared to five years ago – a trend that will continue to grow into the future

‘Community’ re-defined:

  • The local shopping centre will emerge as the new village green (nearly 40 per cent currently cite the local shopping centre as the top gathering place for the local community)
  • Maintaining a local connection will be more important than ever, with 61 per cent of Australians currently worried that the next generation of children won’t know where their fresh food comes from

Technology continues to shape the way we shop:

  • New families are 2.6 times more likely to shop online than the average Australian, indicating that the next, hyper-connected generation will rely on technology as an integral part of the food buying process
  • The majority of all check outs will be cash free in 2034, with some outlets going completely card-free too with payments being made via chips embedded in mobile phones

The perception of ‘value’ will evolve:

  • With a huge developing focus on price and discount (68 per cent of shoppers now actively seek out products on discount), the term ‘value’ will come to mean much more than just great prices
  • Lifestyle, health and ethical considerations will all influence the 2034 idea of ‘value’
  • Australians are already willing to pay at least five per cent more for ethical products that minimise environmental impact, with percentages even higher for today’s emerging generations