The Importance of Influencers in a Changing Grocery Landscape

The way Americans shop for groceries is changing. Online food shopping is on the rise, and it is predicted to grow five-fold over the next decade. This is a great opportunity for brands to get their products to consumers. However, with the rise of online shopping, the opportunities to get in front of consumers have been reduced, and the number of these opportunities will continue to diminish. We’re not expecting online shopping to turn the grocery store model on its head, but it will lead to change in how CPG brands market their products. That’s why, now more than ever, face-to-face influencers are so important for connecting healthy brands to consumers.

Grocery Stores Are Here To Stay

First off, the grocery store model will not become extinct anytime soon. Yes, online grocery shopping is increasing, and will continue to increase. However, the majority of shopping is still done in person. Currently, only 25% of household buy groceries online, and online shopping represents less than 5% of all grocery sales. But the online grocery platform is expected to grow rapidly. So much so, that grocery stores have even adopted digital shopping—tying online ordering with curbside pick up. In this way, they are better able to compete with the convenience of online options.

Landscape For Marketers

Online grocery shopping has provided a challenge for marketers. As powerful as shopper marketing is, it could see a diminished role in an environment where consumers aren’t going into the store. However, marketers can still effectively reach consumers through tried and tested ways—print, digital, social, and face-to-face interactions.

Reaching Consumers In An Increasingly Digital World

In the gold-rush excitement surrounding this seemingly untapped platform, marketers must remember that the digital shopper is still... well, a shopper. These shoppers seek recommendations from trusted sources of information—dietitians, personal trainers, nurses, pediatricians, etc. Through face-to-face influencers, brands can get even more than impactful recommendations. These influencers provide a personal experience with the brand, an increasingly valuable interaction.

Grocery stores are here to stay, and so is shopper marketing. But their roles will change as we move forward. Digital platforms are not only shaping the way people buy their groceries, but also path to purchase. With less opportunities for brands to get in front of consumers, health influencers will continue to valuable intermediary between healthy brands and consumers.