Digitally Maturing Your Food and Beverage Business Model

In just four years it is predicted that every U.S. household will spend $850 annually online for food and beverage. That equates to over a $100 billion dollar online grocery market by 2022. With consumers having a plethora of options, they will work with those that give them what they need, how they need it, and when they want it. This offers a great opportunity for all grocery retailers to meet shoppers online just as they do in store- if the right tools are in place. These tools are identified as your people, processes, and technology. All critical to the food and beverage industries success with omni-channel. 

  1. People: These are the people that are going to ensure silos are removed, collaboration from all parties are effectively in order, and are well versed in digital transformation. They can be developed internally or sourced expertise, but they must be integrated and understand your business (understanding your overall go-to market, supply chain, and even product innovation organization). These people will prepare and execute on your:

Did you know? With 49% of U.S. consumers already shopping for consumer packaged goods online, the disruption of digital for online grocery has happened. It is now expected that within only 5-7 years as many as 70$ of U.S. consumers will regularly be purchasing these goods online.

  1. Process: Consider these the capabilities a grocery retailer or manufacturer must integrate into their business (both online and off). These can include:

Collaboration is critical to the success of your processes. This will simplify execution and reduce costs to overall processes. Master data management and collaborative omni-channel forecasting should be highlighted as focus areas as they can be a couple of the costliest challenges facing both manufacturers and retailers.

Did you know? Consumers gravitate to the providers that give them what they need, how they need it and when they need it. Our recent research revealed that consumers are past the tipping point of 20% adoption of online grocery shopping. In 2016, 23% of consumers purchased food or beverages or both online. We are now on an accelerated path to 70% penetration, which we expect to be achieved in five-seven years.

  1. Technology: This is the umbrella for real time data and analytics that enable people and processes to work effectively. Don’t let that sentence fool you though. Although technology is a critical part of this transformation, it is not a standalone imperative. It is seen as an enabler to support your new processes and people. People need to be in place and processes need to be established for technology to do its job. And only a collaborative technology model will ultimately allow both manufacturers and retailers to be successful now and in the future. Technology can support:


The market is driven by consumers. Millennials have long been touted as the affluent who is purchasing consumer packaged goods online, but research is now showing that Generation X (55%), Boomers (44%) and even the Greatest Generation (39%) aren’t far behind. Collaboration between manufacturers and retailers in the food and beverage industry is crucial to create a successful omni-channel operating model to serve the growing demand.

Download the 2018 Digital Commerce Food and Beverage Report Now.

Data insights sourced from:  
1. Nielsen Digital Shopper Fundamentals Survey, 2017
2. Nielsen Homescan Digital Segmentation Survey
3. Nielsen and FMI Digitally Engaged Food Shopper Study, 2016
4. FMI-Nielsen Digital Readiness Assessment Survey