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Food Institute/Willard Bishop Webinar Provides Insights For Perishables Retailing

We announced Willard Bishop Consulting Issues Annual Future Of Food Retailing Report, which reviewed the new version of this annual report and provided an opportunity to register for a webinar offered jointly with The Food Institute. The webinar was held and revealed many interesting facts. Perhaps most graphically striking were these two slides:

This slide shows how rapidly the business has been changing. The red line represents traditional retail sales, which includes regular supermarkets, so called “fresh stores” such as Whole Foods, limited assortment stores such as Aldi, Sav-a-Lot and Trader Joe’s, super warehouse stores such as Cub Foods and Smart & Final, and small corner grocery stores.

As late as 1988, these were the food retailing industry, accounting for almost 90% of sales. Despite a very generous definition of “traditional” by 2013, traditional retailing will be equaled by non-traditional food retailers:

Perhaps more important for the perishables industry is to look at the formats Willard Bishop projects are the winners over the next five years:

Many of these “traditional” retailers are fairly untraditional — as selling to Aldi and Smart & Final and even Whole Foods often requires a different approach than selling to conventional supermarkets

One of the most common mistakes in marketing is to let customers choose the supplier. A better strategy is for vendors to identify customers that will grow and try to affiliate with them so as to ride their star.

So Willard Bishop is telling us the growth in sales of food, in excess of inflation, will be in supercenters, in limited assortment (Aldi et al), dollar stores, fresh formats, wholesale clubs, drug stores and super warehouse stores. Which means vendors should have strategies for accessing these formats.

Lots of insights were in this webinar, including generally excellent opportunities for perishables and many opportunities for private label.


  • Web grocers are growing again
  • Tesco’s new warehouse is far too large for the store openings it has announced
  • The most valuable thing a supplier can bring a retailer: intellectual property
  • Did you know that 40% of U.S. households have a Kroger loyalty card?

You can view or download a copy of the presentation given at the webinar here.

For additional information, you can review previous Pundit articles, including an interview with Willard Bishop Consulting’s Bill Bishop, a separate interview with Information Resources’ Thom Blischok and a joint interview with FreshLook’s Mark Degner and IRI’s June Fenzel.

Many thanks to The Food Institute and Willard Bishop for sharing this important information with the trade.

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