The world is opening back up post COVID-19, but economic uncertainty lingers. What is the outlook in the grocery sector? FMI, The Food Industry Association, in partnership with Coresight Research, provides key insights and analysis in US Grocery Retail and Recessions: Learnings from the Past and Recommendations for the Future. The report compares economics from three recessions: the dotcom recession (March–November 2001 in the U.S.), the Great Recession (December 2007–June 2009), and the COVID-19 recession (March–April 2020), as well as its aftermath.

Guided by past trends and with an eye on what is different now, the authors offer guidance on what the grocery industry can do to weather economic uncertainties. 

Recommendations cover a range of topics, including  private label, social responsibility, loyalty programs, and retail media. The authors suggest specific strategies, such as doubling down on private label. As WholeFoods has reported, independent natural products retailers have been growing their private label. According to the WholeFoods 2023 45th Annual Retailer Survey, the number of natural products retailers that carry private label nutritional supplements has been growing over the last decade, from about 25% to more than half (54%) today. This, the FMI/Coresight report suggests, is a smart move, and retailers can fine-tune their private label mix by building up both premium and value offerings. (For more expert insights on private label, read Private Label: An Innovative Option.)

The report contains many more actionable suggestions, from capitalizing on the "lipstick effect" to leveraging loyalty programs. The report is available at no cost, and be accessed by registering for a free account.

Related: Private Label: An Innovative Option
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