One in five consumers would like technology to help them tackle food waste, IGD reports

While shopper use of tech for discounts, coupons and offers has been on the increase as technology has evolved in recent years, new research from IGD highlights it is not just saving money that shoppers are interested in when it comes to technology related to food and grocery. Indeed, when asked which areas they would like technology to help them with, over one in five (22%) say they would like help with reducing food waste, 18% on health and diet information, 18% with in-store navigation, 15% with fast delivery (one hour) and nearly one in 10 (9%) with sourcing product information.

Today, over eight in 10 (83%) shoppers would like technology to help them with their food and grocery shopping in future. Help with savvy shopping tops the list when it comes to areas where consumers feel technology could help them, with over half (55%) of shoppers wanting to use technology to find the best offers.

Highlighting the opportunity for the food and grocery industry to engage further with technology, IGD’s research reveals that while the number of shoppers saying they have a useful app on their phone has jumped from 72% in 2014 to 81% in 2016, the number of shoppers saying they have a useful food and grocery app on their phone has dropped from 40% in 2014 to 34% in 2016. Furthermore, over four in 10 (43%) of shoppers are currently purchasing food and groceries online and nearly a third (28%) show an interest in using a voice activated device at home to add items to an online basket.

Vanessa Henry, shopper insight manager at IGD, said: “Our research highlights a big opportunity for the food and grocery industry to engage and assist shoppers using technology. However, it’s essential that shopper needs are satisfied as otherwise technology becomes short lived.

“While it’s encouraging to see that the use of technology and digital tools is becoming established ahead of a store visit, particularly when shoppers are planning their shopping or looking for inspiration, there is a real opportunity to harness new innovations and data in driving shopper loyalty for retailers. Shoppers are clearly not shy to advancements in technology in food and grocery, and with the growing demand for progression in this area we look forward to seeing how retailers will continue to rise to this challenge.

“Technologies that might be useful to shoppers in the future could be smart home devices which could help with meal inspiration and planning, and in-store opportunities might include technology that helps speed up the checkout and payment process.”

Reducing waste is clearly a priority for younger shoppers (18-25 year olds), with nearly a third (29%) wanting to use technology in this way compared to just 17% of 65 and above shoppers. A similar contrast can be seen between those in Yorkshire and Humber (29%) being most likely to want to use technology for this purpose and shoppers in Wales and London (18%) being least likely to. Families with children under 5 years are also more likely to say they want to use technology to reduce food waste (29%), when compared to shoppers with no children under 18 (20%).