Acosta leadership expects sustained interest in e-commerce and increased reliance on automation to boost efficiency amid operational challenges.
Global sales and marketing company Acosta is out with its CPG outlook and, of course, the fallout of the ongoing pandemic is influencing many projections. Looking back at the many changes in consumers’ lifestyles and shopping habits over the past two years, Acosta’s leadership team assessed implications for the marketplace – and the overall marketing environment – going forward. They outlined several notable trends:
- Purposeful at-home eating: With Acosta’s research showing that consumers ate more meals and snacks at home and sought healthy choices in 2021, the company’s experts predict that this behavior will continue and expand to include an increased awareness of environmental issues related to consumption.
- Changed in-store shopping: Acosta’s experts believe that in-store safety measures will stay in place indefinitely and anticipate that retailers will navigate supply chain challenges, emphasize product availability, seek out automation to address labor challenges and elevate the store experience to rebuild traffic.
- The solidification of online shopping: Given the fact that half of consumers polled by Acosta said they buy grocery products online, the firm’s leaders agree that people will continue to form their online grocery buying habits in the year ahead. Solutions like dark stores and hyper-delivery models will grow to meet demand.
- A rebound in dining out: Acosta’s pros expect an acceleration of take-out, drive-thru and mobile ordering trends, but concur that labor challenges and lingering COVID concerns are likely to lead to limited foodservice menus, reduced capacity, longer wait times and higher prices. In response, there will be a greater reliance on technology in the foodservice industry and innovations like ghost kitchens will expand.
- Lingering operational challenges: Based on industry insights and discussions with CPGs and others in the global supply chain, Acosta’s experts project that supply chain and labor issues will continue in 2022, as will inflation.