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How New Technologies Are Redefining the Grocery Industry

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:35PM

Everything we know about the grocery industry is changing, and it’s all thanks to new technologies that continue to transform the stale industry into something easier, more reliable, and more convenient...

Not only for you as a consumer, but for the companies involved with supplying groceries to you and your family as well.

Over the weekend I was making dinner for a couple friends, and I had to pick up a few items. Personally, I dread going to the grocery store, especially on the weekend. It’s busy, and a lot of the items I’m looking for are gone or in the process of being restocked. Then, when it’s time to check out with the few items I grabbed, I have to wait for what feels like an eternity for the few people in front of me to self-check their full cart. And usually I'm a very patient person!

Self-checkout is a recent technology implemented in the grocery store, and I’ve noticed it’s become the preferred method of paying for items. The first supermarket self-checkout system was installed in 1992, and since then it has been the most exciting and revolutionary thing to hit to the grocery industry...

Until now.

A New Way to Get Your Groceries

In the past few years, emerging technologies have begun to make our lives easier and significantly cut down the time we have to spend on mundane tasks (like grocery shopping) that take us away from truly enjoying our lives.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been the leader in home delivery. Its Prime membership offers two-day shipping, even one-hour shipping when possible. Home delivery allows people to order online and not have to worry about leaving the comfort of their home.

Amazon’s success in home delivery has other companies following in its footsteps. Over the summer, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) started testing different home delivery services to determine what would be most effective for its customers. Costco (NASDAQ: COST) partnered with the company Shipt to begin its home delivery services. It plans on expanding to 50 additional markets by the end of this year.

One of the largest grocery chains in the U.S., Kroger (NYSE: KR), has been using customer analytics to help improve its business. Inside Kroger’s nearly 2,800 stores, it has been using cameras and infrared sensors to improve checkout efficiency and better understand foot traffic.  

Data analytics helps collect and analyze data on what the customer is doing. The company wants to attract customers to products they’ll be interested in so they’ll buy more.

Digital currencies and the blockchain technology that’s involved is one technology that’s been redefining the way we see the grocery industry.

Leading grocery stores have started to use blockchain technology to make sure they're only supplying the freshest contamination-free food.

Trying to track down the exact moment of food contamination has been one of the most difficult tasks for food companies and suppliers. Typically, it takes weeks to discover which food product has to be recalled, and by that time there’s an even bigger risk that it's already infected customers.

IBM has partnered with Wal-Mart, Nestlé, Dole, Tyson Foods, and Kroger to use blockchain technology to be able to track food through the global supply chain.

Recently, one of Wal-Mart’s top food safety executives said in a video published by the retailer, “Imagine if we could pinpoint with certainty within minutes, not days.” With this kind of technology, money, and time, the health risk will drop dramatically.

Blockchain will unify farmers, processors, distributors, and retailers into an organized system. Right now, every group involved in a food supply chain is using different ways to document and track products, which makes it a long and tedious process to find out where and how a product got contaminated — not to mention the other products that could have been affected.

Blockchain technology was originally designed to monitor digital currencies, but now it’s shining a new light on the grocery industry.

Digital Currencies Are Also Freshening Up This Industry

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably heard about the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin and how it's been seeing a huge surge in the last few months. On October 23, 2017, it was at $5,895.30, an increase of 446% since March 31, 2017, when the price sat at $1,079.63.

Back in July 2010, Bitcoin was only at $0.06. Now look at it! Imagine being able to foresee the type of success and profits it was going to have in 2017. If you were to invest $500 into Bitcoin in 2010, your investment would be worth more than $337 million today.

Bitcoin might have been a little "behind its time" back in 2010, and most people most likely didn’t understand the technology or weren't willing to adopt it.

But now it’s 2017, and we’re living in a different time... a time when we’ve become more receptive to and accepting of new technologies and the benefits they could have on our daily lives.

Grocery stores have now been accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. They’re quicker and more secure. We've been hearing almost weekly about data breaches, so the idea of a new (and secure) form of payment is really great news! We'll no longer have to worry about our credit/debit card numbers being stolen or have to get a new credit/debit card in the mail every few months because our bank believes it might have been compromised.

In the world of digital currencies, Bitcoin has had the most success and continues to rise. But Bitcoin is not the only option out there... and the profit potential is just getting started. Right now, a number of other cryptocurrencies are showing very similar characteristics to Bitcoin when it first started out.

The grocery industry is a huge constant in our lives, and it won't be the only industry that will benefit from digital currencies. Here's a way to get in.

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia
Wealth Daily


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