The trends you need to watch in 2019

Date : 11 December 2018

Toby, our innovation expert, has highlighted the five FMCG trends you need to know about for 2019. Here, he talks about responding to change, the rise of data, and the complexity of our industry. 

Food and grocery is becoming ever more complex

Our industry has adapted to meet the changing needs of shoppers over the decades. And it’s still doing so. But the pace of change and increasing number of disruptors and new solutions are creating more complexity than ever. We’ve already seen a significant pivot towards innovative new technology and there’s no sign of this letting up. 

Data is more valuable than ever

I’ve identified five key global trends for the food and grocery industry to be aware of in 2019. One of these is called ‘data dictates the way’. Using and sharing data, and applying new technological solutions, will give you a competitive edge as retailers and manufacturers. 

In 2018, we’ve seen data become more valuable to the retail sector than ever. Some 46% of supply chain experts are now actively prioritising building data-driven businesses. As well as helping to boost sales, accurate data is vital to help retailers understand customer behaviour – and reward their loyalty.

Using customer datasets, artificial intelligence and machine learning has many benefits for retailers

You can promote products more effectively, maintain stock levels and improve customer service. You’ll get invaluable guidance from the insights gained through closer customer engagement.

If you only watch one trend, it should be unattended in-home delivery

One of the trends I highlighted last year is called ‘delivering the goods’. This is about retailers being able to get food and groceries to shoppers as quickly and conveniently as possible. One way they achieve that is through unattended in-home delivery.

In 2018, we’ve seen several retailers trialling this around the world, including in the UK. I think this solution will be an interesting one to watch, as it requires a significant level of trust from shoppers. But it does overcome one of the key barriers to online shopping: waiting for deliveries. 

Innovations travel round the world instantly

It certainly feels like that at times! It’s getting increasingly important to know what’s happening globally. Innovations starting on the other side of the world can appear in your own market very quickly. 

You’ll need to decide very swiftly how to respond. Responding rapidly to challenges is likely to require a cultural behaviour change for many companies though. 

Toby Pickard, Head of Insight – Innovation and Futures, IGD

Simon Mayhew

I’m constantly looking out for examples of new trends and solutions that industry is implementing to make retailing fit for the future.

I create reports and present to our industry on the changing retail landscape. I can help your company understand how you must adapt to shoppers’ evolving needs and wants.


Follow me on Twitter @TobyPickard_IGD



Discover more about our five trends and the forces driving them.

Use our free reports on shoppers, supply chain and online stores to prepare for the future of FMCG.