It’s no secret that the American people need some help when it comes to eating well. Between complicated food labels, confusing store layouts, and a simple lack of time, opting for the hassle of healthy food can be tough when that 6-pack of Ramen noodles is staring you down. Luckily for us, new technology that will make healthy grocery shopping easier and more fun (as fun as grocery shopping can be, anyways!) is on the horizon.
They’ve Got An App for That
There are a boatload of grocery apps to do everything from managing your grocery list, checking for coupons, leading you to specific items, and more. But as someone who’s crashed into one too many Oreo cookie displays…it’s not always easy to navigate with your eyes on the screen. Grocery stores are looking to incorporate these app features into the carts themselves. Innovations like the Lambent shopping handle can make this a budget-friendly reality (unlike these healthy shopping carts that sell to the tune of $30,000!)
Another way to cut back on grocery store costs is to eliminate the store itself. Seriously! Grocery chain Tesco started offering virtual grocery stores in subway stations in Korea to reach busy commuters who don’t have time to shop. Flat graphics of actual grocery shelves are posted on subway station walls to simulate the experience of walking around a store. Shoppers scan QR codes next to every item to add the item to their online shopping cart, and then a delivery service brings the orders straight to their doors. Similar prototypes have been popping up around the US and but the jury is out on how practical this model is to roll out.
Walmart is taking the idea of omnichannel to a new level. They are testing a prototype store in Arkansas that allows shoppers to shop however they want: in-store, online, or straight from their mobile phones. The really cool part about this is in the delivery. Online or smartphone shoppers drive to a Walmart grocery warehouse, drive up to the kiosk system and key in their info, and then attendants bring their orders outside and unload it in the car. For time-crunched shoppers (aren’t we all?) this could truly be a revolution in grocery shopping.
Which of these advances would you be more interested in? What other features would make grocery shopping easier or more enjoyable for you?