Mercatus Radio - The NGA Show 2019: Key takeaways for independent grocers

March 10, 2019

Brought to you from the NGA Show floor, Sylvain Perrier and Mark Fairhurst discuss what key learnings independent grocers can take from the conference. We were excited to sponsor the Advancing Retail CART event, where the speakers included Sylvain Perrier, John D’Anna from Brookshire Grocery Company and Ron Bonacci from Weis Markets, among others.

In discussing how independent grocers can strategically approach technological partnerships, Sylvain Perrier cites John D’Anna. “You have to really spend a good amount of time in understanding that picking a partner is not just picking a partner and connecting a bunch of technology, but it is implementing change management within your own business”.

Listen in to hear more about the NGA Show 2019 and find out what important learnings grocers can take from this conference.

Mercatus Radio Season Finale – 2019 Grocery Retail Predictions with Brittain Ladd

January 14, 2019

In this, the final episode of Season 1 of the Digital Grocer, Sylvain and Mark come full circle with Brittain Ladd who kicked off Mercatus’ podcast journey earlier in 2018. The grocery retail industry continues its rapid pace of change. In the last year alone, Albertson’s and Walmart have accelerated their robotics play, on the delivery side Kroger confirmed autonomous delivery using Nuro, and Amazon has announced plans to grow Amazon Go to 3,000 stores. The growth in eCommerce shows no sign of slowing. Quite the opposite. Grocery retailers are teaming up with third-party companies to extend their reach from the retail store to the consumers’ door. At the same time, retailers invested in their in-store pick-up, curbside, and click-and-collect services to expand their brand reach and cater to shoppers’ with greater convenience and value. The omnichannel grocery landscape is now valued at more than $1 trillion dollars with online grocers ringing up $21.6 billion in sales in past 3 years.

It’s within this context that Sylvain and Brittain talk about strategic plays and predict big moves in the grocery retail market in 2019. On the topic of reclaiming your customer, the key questions they cover include: Who owns your shopper data? Are you teaching your future competitor your business? Are retailers losing their ability to innovate? What’s the purpose of your business? And is it too late to reclaim your brand from third-party platforms?

Mercatus Radio - Interview with Warren Shoulberg, Award-Winning Retail Journalist

December 9, 2018

In this episode of the Digital Grocer, Warren Shoulberg from the Robin Report joins us to discuss important changes in the grocery industry. From meal kits, to data analysis, to partnerships and acquisitions, no hot topic in grocery is left unexplored.

Warren Shoulberg shares his thoughts on what some grocers are doing well, and how he expects the industry will need to adapt to the changing expectations of online and in-store shoppers.

Join us for a fascinating discussion – this is one you won’t want to miss!

Mercatus Radio - Interview with Markus Stripf, co-CEO of Spoon Guru

November 9, 2018

From the 2018 Groceryshop conference floor, Sylvain Perrier is joined by Markus Stripf, co-CEO of Spoon Guru to talk about the incredible work his company is doing in the field of nutrition. Through a unique combination of AI, machine learning and nutritional expertise, Spoon Guru enables customers to find products tailored to their dietary preferences. 

Markus Stripf tells the story of the evolution of Spoon Guru, beginning with he and his wife struggling to decipher the ingredient labels on foods at the grocery store. He cites a report by Nielsen where, 64% of respondents across the world said their diet had some food or ingredient restrictions. Consumers needed better resources to navigate dietary preferences. Markus  explains the need for a solution like Spoon Guru: “Consumers want personalized, tailored food choices, they want accuracy, transparency and choice”. 

A recent study conducted to evaluate the accuracy of Spoon Guru’s AI showed it has a 99.3% accuracy when suggesting food to people with nut allergies- a higher rate than that of a healthcare professional. Markus discusses how Spoon Guru’s technology can be used not just for consumers, but also as a helpful tool for healthcare professionals. 

We’re excited to watch Spoon Guru continue to grow and to make positive impacts on the food nutrition industry for consumer, healthcare professional and companies alike.

Mercatus Radio - What role does technology play in the future of grocery retail?

October 25, 2018

In episode #8 of the Digital Grocer Podcast, Sylvain and Mark continue the discussion from last podcast on trends surrounding the grocery retail market, namely: the excitement around delivery solutions, the risk of passing this solution to a third-party, and what role technology should play in the retail space.

In a recent Mercatus survey of households across the United States, consumers in the southern states expressed that they, “are 41% more interested in in-store pick-up versus delivery,” with interest in delivery falling in around 20%. With in-store pickup being the preferred option for shoppers, we discuss what implication this has on grocery retailers’ strategies versus what we’re seeing in the market.

Is jumping on delivery solutions to keep up with recent moves from Amazon and Walmart an effective strategy for grocery retailers? Perhaps delivery in its current state isn’t quite the investment retailers imagine it to be.

Mercatus Radio - Groceryshop 2018 Preview with Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru

October 18, 2018

This week’s episode is in preparation for the Groceryshop 2018 conference and tradeshow, which Mercatus is excited to be both sponsoring and attending this year! Sylvain is joined by special guest Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru® , to discuss the trends in today’s grocery retail sphere.

Phil offers insight into the importance of retailers owning their brand relationship with shoppers and maintaining control over the shopping experience. By investing in this critical factor, he notes that grocers can protect their customer base from the threat of other potentially attractive short-term third-party fulfillment options available in the market.

Sylvain and Phil go on to discuss some fascinating topics current and up-and-coming in the industry, such as consumers’ connectivity to food, environmental factors on growing food and how technology is being leveraged to change the entire industry, from farm to table. All topics that will be discussed at the inaugural Groceryshop starting on October 28 in Las Vegas.

Mercatus Radio - What is cyber insurance and why do grocery retailers need it?

September 29, 2018

In this episode, Sylvain Perrier explains why grocery retailers need to step up their security measures. He recounts his first experience as a vendor in dealing with retailer cybercrime going back well over 10 years at BJ's Wholesale Club.

Sylvain highlights why retailers need to be cautious. The retail industry is now the top target for cyber criminals. As the “2018 Trustwave Global Security Report” observes, the North American retail sector suffered the most breach incidences of any industry in 2017 (16.7%), followed by the finance and insurance industry (13.1%) and hospitality (11.9%).

What can grocery retailers do about the increasing number of cyberattacks?  It's impossible to be 100% secure. There are steps grocery retailers can take to mitigate risk and reduce the impact of a cyberattack. Sylvain introduces listeners to the world of cyber insurance, which can be very complex to navigate. Helping decipher this world is studio guest and cyber insurance expert, Robert Harrison, an insurance executive with Martin Merry and Reid based in Toronto.

Mercatus Radio - Interview with Sean Butler (formerly with Chef’d) on the Future of Meal Kits in Grocery

August 12, 2018

Here it is. Episode 5 of the Digital Grocer Podcast. In this episode, Sylvain interviews Sean Butler, formerly Senior Vice President of Retail at meal kit provider, Chef’d, where he created, launched, and scaled the company’s chef-designed in-store meal kits. Sean left Chef’d in May 2018 and founder The Emerging Brand Studios, a global strategy consultancy serving the food & beverage industry and a division of LIDD, Inc., retail operations and supply chain infrastructure consultants.

This interview took place just prior to Chef’d announcing its insolvency on July 17, 2018 and laying off 350 employees.  Chef’d supplies about 25 retail customers, including Walgreen's and Duane Reade drug stores in New York City, and has about 200 licensing partnerships. Soon after the announcement, the company’s assets, including plant, property, equipment, brand and intangibles were scooped up by True Food Innovations for an undisclosed amount. Chef’d products will continue to be sold in U.S. grocery stores, but the firm’s e-commerce offering will be suspended. The grocery store effort is more in tune with where American consumers are headed. Sean lays out his vision for the future of meal kits, the fastest growing food channel in the U.S. (including grocery as well as foodservice delivery). In-store grocery sales of meal kits is what’s driving revenue growth in the space. He says the right way to do meal kits is not the subscription model. ​The future is a curated non-subscription model supported by a fresh, rotating set of in-store offerings. He says “pretty dramatic change is going to happen on the earlier side of that three to five year prediction. We've seen the convergence of retail and perishable e-commerce through meal kits. But much more interestingly, says Sean, the next level is going to be involving restaurants as well, and meal kits will be on the cutting edge once again."

Mercatus Radio - What Digital Grocers Need to Know About the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

July 8, 2018

In this episode of the Digital Grocer podcast, Sylvain Perrier discusses the business implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act on grocery retail, and the pitfalls of not adhering to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG).

Helping Sylvain unpack the issues are Michele Landis, Co-founder and CRO at Accessible360, and Erik Slezak, Client Development Consultant. Accessible360's mission is to make the digital world a more accessible environment for all. They do so by helping companies audit and fix websites and mobile apps, giving more people access to products and services. 

Mercatus Radio - Playing the “Infinite Game” in grocery retail

June 9, 2018

Sylvain concludes his conversation with Brittain Ladd. Together, they consider the future state of grocery retail and the implications of new players like Amazon who are playing an Infinite Game, where there are no defined rules, the rules can change at any time, and the goal is to keep the game going forever.