Monday, December 7, 2020

Will Walmart’s New Electricity be All-Electric Self-Driving Cars


Chain restaurants have focused extensively on the ‘halo’ of better for you in 2021 with everything from fresher food to sustainable packaging. Grocery stores are not going to miss out on one of consumers top of mind trends in 2021 either according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Walmart in a new partnership with Cruise will bring fleet of 100% renewable-energy vehicles to Scottsdale, AZ beginning in 2021.  While the U.S. is reentering the Paris Agreement within the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, Walmart will launch a pilot in Scottsdale, Ariz., with self-driving car company Cruise to operate an entire fleet of all-electric delivery vehicles powered with 100% renewable energy. The project will support the retail giant’s initiative to reach zero emissions by 2040.

So, as part of the pilot, customers can place an order from their local store and have it delivered, contact-free, via one of Cruise’s all-electric self-driving cars. Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as; corporate partnerships, fresh foods, online ordering, delivery, self-driving cars, plant based foods, sampling, toy’s, cereal, developing brands,  grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  Does your retail path forward look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Why?


Walmart's Relevance 

Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product, Walmart U.S.  stated “Technology that has the potential to not only save customers time and money but also is helpful to the planet is technology we want to learn more about,”.

Ward continued, “This year, we’ve had our foot on the accelerator expanding our pickup and delivery services, so customers can get the items they need quickly and safely,” he continued. “In April alone, we launched Express Delivery and have since scaled it to more than 2,800 stores, reaching more than 65% of American households.”

In case you did not know this pilot is focused on renewable energy, it is not Walmart’s first foray into self-driving delivery vehicles. Earlier this year, the retailer tested the unmanned Nuro R2 delivery vehicle — which only hauls products and has no onboard driver or passengers — in Houston, as well as autonomous Toyota Priuses to bring Walmart online grocery orders to customers’ homes. Both vehicles are powered by Nuro’s self-driving software and hardware.

“You’ve seen us test drive with self-driving cars in the past,” Ward said, “and we’re continuing to learn a lot about how they can shape the future of retail. We’re excited to add Cruise to our lineup of autonomous vehicle pilots as we continue to chart a whole new roadmap for retail.”

The world is evolving fast and Walmart is as well, in addition to electrifying and zeroing out emissions from all of its vehicles, that does including long-haul trucks, by 2040, Walmart, with over 11,500 stores worldwide, is building on its long-standing commitment to climate action by also harvesting enough wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to power its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035, and transitioning to low-impact refrigerants for cooling and electrified equipment for heating in its stores, clubs and data and distribution centers by 2040. How are you going to extend the ‘halo’ of better for you in 2021?

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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