Convenience – Driven by Generational Change – 2020 Trend Report Extract

Convenience – Driven by generational change

generational change and convenience infographic

Snacking Beyond Sugar

Second generation CBD brands will have research-proven effective doses. Generally, 2019 releases had a small amount of CBD. 2020 will see an increasing consumer awareness of what constitutes an effective dose.

Entry capital cash is likely to translate into a plethora of brands, rather than a select few focussing on reformulation. Those that win will have a clear points of difference that target the genuine shopper need for accurate and reliable education as well as taste.

The confectionery ‘health’ snack health bar category is permeated beyond belief. It’s hard to think of a brand, flavour, product, or format that isn’t available. Sales of sport snack bars were up 41% in 2018 at almost £100m (Kantar Worldpanel, Feb 2019).

But fresh snacking is set to be the snacking trend in 2020, signposted by Wholefood’s 2020 food trend predictions.

Already we have seen the introduction of chilled snack bars, indicating a shift from ambient and its high sugar levels. Quark bars Yaar and the explosion of chilled jerky products entered the UK market in 2019, and are set to revolutionise the way we snack.

Bars have been a massive part of confectionery snacking in recent years, but fresh snacking is a consumer want and need that is to be fully addressed in 2020.

Making Eating in Easier and Better

British consumers are expected to spend 22% more on takeaway deliveries by the end of 2020, creating a market worth £5.8bn annually (Aviko, Oct 2019). Alongside this increase, it’s no surprise to see that the number of customers choosing to eat in has decreased.

The decline of eating out is being driven by a lack of time and improvements across technology and delivery services – including food delivery and subscription services.

Food Subscriptions

Masterchef, The Great British Bake Off, and YouTube cooking show channels have created a standard for the dishes we accomplish at home (Even for kids – Junior Bakeoff).

If ordinary people are cooking, why aren’t you?

It’s no surprise then that food subscription boxes have appeared at a time when we all want to be Michelin star chefs.


Realistically, food subscription services genuinely go one step further than online grocery. Its consumers are consistently eating better products without being inconvenienced. Successful boxes are flexible, convenient and have a USP (Royal Mail Group, Feb 2019).

stats on subscription boxes


2019 saw the way on plastics become one of fierce vengeance. For subscription boxes, suitable packaging is upmost to deliver fresh and undamaged food – especially for fresh foodservice like Riverford.

riverford case study


The subscription box market is predicted to hit £1bn in 2020 (Royal Mail Group, Feb 2019).

Health and beauty boxes are the fastest growing category in the market, combining this trend with ethical and sustainability will surely be a short-term hit.

Low barriers to market have made boxes an appealing business idea for smaller brands, but the prospect of larger retailers investing in the market due to its success is a main concern for both their longevity and the overall sustainability and individuality of the market.

Certain consumers will definitely be lost.

Better: Shopping Experience

Do any of these common gripes from 10 years ago sound familiar?

paying with phone at shop

Decline of Self-service

The number of self-service checkouts in the UK grew from 7,000 in 2008 to 42,000 in 2015. Today 4 out of 5 shoppers use this method of payment.

But in 2019, self-service remains as clunky and frustrating as it did in its inception.

Where is the innovation? The answer: away from self-serve.

Replacing Humans in Retail

Last year, Amazon Go introduced the “Just walk out” shopping experience, not checkout required. The technology can detect when products are taken or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in virtual trolley.

The consumer’s Amazon account is charged after leaving. In foodservice, Wetherspoons introduced the ‘order and pay’ app in 2017. McDonald’s self-service is a familiar sight right now, after its 2015 rollout.

Full Automation in the Latest Innovation

In April, Sainsbury’s began a trial of its first checkout-less store. Co-op and M&S are also in this space.

Sainsbury’s argues “technology is key” in allowing customers to shop as quickly as possible. ‘Unknown item in bagging area’ will become a nostalgic phrase reminding us of a more clunky grocery shop past.

Suitable for All Ages?

Is this system made purely for millennials or is it really simple enough for every one of every age to get on board with? Certain products like alcoholic will be off limits with this technology.

In 2020, Shopping is an Experience and Food is an Identifier

While the trend for full automation is established enough, the sociability of food has managed to leap over the sensory ravine that we assumed the internet would create to create new audiences and occasions by working with it.

working with food and technology

Download the full 2020 Trend Report, in which we uncover the latest trends in grocery. 

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