Monday, January 21, 2019

The Corner Store, Neighborhood Market, or Dinner on Demand

Back in the day there was a local market on every corner, they were not convenience stores they were small mom and pop grocery stores that were convenient, reliable, and close.  Then came grocery stores and a regional food markets in almost every defined neighborhood, they sold more products, sold them for less, and drove the mom and pop stores out of business. 
Within the restaurant sector during the same time span the same thing happened. Local mom and pop restaurant were replaced by regional brands, then national franchises felling fresh food faster and for less garnering business from both the grocery sector and legacy independent restaurant sector.    
Enter the grocerant sector filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and consumers time starved began migration to new avenues of distribution for dinner looking for time saving, solution for dinner.
It’s at the intersection of the consumer and food retail that we find San Francisco-based startup Robomart Inc. that is going to utilize autonomous electric vehicles to delivery food, meals, and meal components in your local neighborhood, your driveway, or at your front door.
Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® stated “what goes around comes around, consumer have always wanted local fresh fast food.  Watch for Robomart too deliver groceries, snacks, beverages, and grocerant niche meals and meal components that solve the questions of What’s for dinner.”
While wholesale food prices in the U.S. were down close to 3.0% in 2018; U.S. restaurant prices were up 2.6% 2018 driving a wedge between the consumers pocketbook and the dinner table.  Robomart has the unique ability to bridge that gap by delivering to the home, the mix & match food offerings including grocery staples and ready-2-eat or heat-n-eat meals saving consumers both time and money while solving the endless question What’s for dinner.
Ahold Delhaize US grocery store chain is scheduled to launch this spring in greater Boston, autonomous electric vehicles from San Francisco-based startup Robomart Inc. Billed as a “self-driving grocery store,” the vehicles will carry an assortment of produce, meal kits and convenience items directly to customers, where they can choose what they want. So, how is it going to work?
Well, when the vehicle arrives, customers go outside, unlock the vehicle’s doors and then pick the fruit, vegetables and other products they want to buy off the shelves inside. After taking their items, they just close the doors and send the vehicle on its way. The vehicles’ RFID and computer vision ”grab-and-go” technology automatically records the products customers selected and charges them. Receipts are e-mailed in seconds.
The ‘driverless’ vehicles are piloted remotely from a Robomart facility. Stop & Shop said the tele-operated vehicles will be restocked with fresh items throughout their journey to ensure the best selection for customers. Perishables are kept fresh via purpose-built refrigeration and temperature control in the vehicle.
This is nothing new for consumers as even Ali Ahmed, founder and CEO of Robomart stated “For decades, consumers had the convenience of their local green grocer and milkman coming door to door, and we believe that by leveraging driverless technology we can recreate that level of convenience and accessibility,”
The era of walking through a grocery store for 30 minutes looking for four items is about to slowly fadeaway according to Johnson. Restaurants, convenience store will all begin adopting these new avenues of fresh food distribution to delivery and drive branded food sales.  More important consumers will not object to this technology and will adopt it much like they adopted mobile phones; with curiosity, then slowly, and the doors will simply fly wide open. The food world is evolving are you? 
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information.

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