Last updated: How subscription food services are changing the grocery industry

How subscription food services are changing the grocery industry


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In my home country of Sweden, work-life balance is an important emphasis in our culture. One of the greatest advances of this mindset has come via the digital world: the ability to order groceries online. Today 1 of 5 Swedes buy their food via the web, as it allows them to save time and eat more healthily. Though this is a small part of the total revenue, the growth rate over the past few years has been around 40 percent, and is only expected to grow even more.

This offers huge potential for companies to capitalize on people’s desire  to save time and eat better.

The competition to gain and keep loyal customers is fierce, and thinking outside of the box is critical.

Grocery retailers must expand their idea of competitiveness. In the days pre-internet, competition meant better pricing. Today, it means better service and catering to the clientele of the future while retaining the values of today.

The future of food: Grocery meets CX

Grocery retailers banking on the success of the internet are crafting a multitude of new options for online customers, including the popular subscription service called The Recipe Bag. The Recipe Bag is delivered to customers doorsteps, stocked with the week’s dinner menu, complete with recipes and all the groceries needed to prepare the healthy meals.

The makers of this service recognized the market need for families who want to cook wholesome meals, but lack the time and inspiration to do so day in and day out.

The Recipe Bags are quite personalized; you can order them in most sizes, and offer selections such as 100 percent ecological, “easy to cook,” vegetarian, children-favorites, lactose-free, etc. Consumers decide when they want, and the bag is delivered along with some small surprises that delight the recipients.

One of my favorite new concepts is the ability to choose between set-menu bags, or the option to design your own recipe bag. This concept has just been launched by a big Swedish grocery-chain, and I believe it will become a very successful model in the future of grocery commerce.

On Sunday evening, families can click and choose the recipes they fancy to eat during the upcoming week. (Very smart, as our taste buds are highly personalized!) As a mom of two hungry boys, I take the concept one step further—the recipe my boys choose is the recipe they help me cook. It works like a charm, and offers the ability to teach good nutrition and skills to my children.

Swedes are very used to shopping online, are eager to try new trends, have no strong food culture, and it is quite expensive to eat out here. More importantly, many women in Sweden work and there is a big trend in cooking healthy food from scratch. This is a hard equation to accomplish without help. But with more innovations like the recipe-bag service, we can look forward to a future where it is possible to balance our lives with the desire to have a healthy home-cooked meal, and all consumers win!

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