At the end of each year, people always are curious: What’s on tap for the new year?
In terms of buying food, two 2017 trends are superseding the rest: technology and transparency.
Cooking — and therefore grocery shopping — is becoming more and more of an experience rather than a chore. This trend gave rise to meal kit delivery systems like Blue Apron, Purple Carrot, and Plated. Similarly, supermarket chain Giant rolled out its own version of meal kits in early 2016, and Campbell’s, Tyson, and Hersey’s brands are on the start-ups’ heels, too. Online-based grocery shopping with delivery or curbside pickup is also gaining popularity. Consequently, we’ve begun to drift toward ultra-convenient, technology-driven grocery shopping experiences. [related]
(This rise in technology-based grocery shopping also begs the question of whether we should place Amazon Fresh and Fresh Direct this list. Well, perhaps next year.)
In addition to the tech trend, consumers are continuing to seek out fresher, less processed products. To this point, grocery store expert John Karolefski reports that “nearly 30,000 grocery products will bear a new SmartLabel on packages by the end of 2017 to give consumers easy access to detailed information about what they are buying.” Additionally, according to a study by Consumer Goods, 26 percent of millennials usually stay on the store perimeter — that is to say, millennial shoppers stay in the produce, meat, and dairy sections and only visit select center-store aisles during stock-up trips.
It is therefore increasingly important to consumers to shop at the right grocery store, one that not only fulfills their needs with well-labeled, quality produce but also provides a better, more convenient shopper experience. So what are the best, you ask? We’ve certainly got out favorites. Here’s our list of America’s best grocery stores to serve you in 2017.