Market Overview

Phononic Survey Reveals Food Retail Executives' Insights on How Competition, Convenience and Checkout Tech are Shaping the "Store of the Future"


Study reveals 83% of food retail executives believe Amazon's food
offerings are a threat to traditional grocery stores

the global leader in solid-state cooling that is breaking the boundaries
of semiconductor innovation, today announced the findings of its latest
study exploring the food retail landscape
. Phononic surveyed more
than 200 executives across the United States that work in the grocery
and food retail space, including traditional grocers, convenience stores
and big box retailers that sell groceries. The study reveals insights
into changing shopping habits, increasing competition, the
implementation of technology, and predictions on how these factors will
shape food retail over the next five years.

This latest study mirrors many of the concepts examined in Phononic's
"Store of the Future" survey of shoppers conducted earlier this year. In
comparing retail executives' viewpoints with those of consumers,
interesting trends emerge. For instance, seven in ten food retail
executives say if grocery stores don't enter the modern age, more people
will look for other ways to get their food. This sentiment aligns with
consumer views, as a majority of shoppers (56%) agreed with this

"Food retail has become one of the most competitive markets, attracting
numerous disruptors. However, margins on staple items are already razor
thin. Rather than cutting prices, grocers need to deploy new tactics
that focus on leveraging technology to improve convenience and increase
basket sizes," said Tony Atti, CEO and founder of Phononic. "Our
solid-state refrigerators and freezers allow food retailers increased
flexibility of where cold or frozen items are placed – for example at
the checkout counter or the front of the store. This enables the
experiences that modern shoppers seek, such as micro-visits and
increased convenience, ultimately improving customer loyalty and driving

Responses demonstrated how food retail executives are embracing
technology to serve the needs of today's consumers amidst increasing

Industry Disruptors

  • When asked to identify the biggest grocery disruptors, over half of
    food retail executives (54%) pointed to Amazon, two in five (41%)
    identified Walmart, and one-quarter (25%) said online food delivery
    services, while smaller numbers believe it's Kroger (10%) and Target
  • A common offering among these top disruptors is home delivery. While
    two-thirds of Americans (66%) have yet to try a food or meal delivery
    service, one-third have.
  • Despite increasing delivery and e-commerce options, overall four in
    five Americans (82%) say they like shopping in the typical grocery

In-store Technology

  • Three in five food retail executives (60%) say their organization does
    invest enough in in-store technology, and seven in ten (70%) say, when
    it comes to implementing new technologies to improve customer
    experiences, their organization is proactive.
  • However, despite a view of proactiveness, almost half of food retail
    executives (49%) say grocery stores haven't yet figured out how to use
    technology like other retailers have. Half of consumers (50%) agreed
    with this statement.

Optimizing Store Layouts

  • 87% of executives say it has worked a great deal to create an
    optimized store layout; over seven in ten (72%) believe the grocery
    store layout is changing to accommodate micro-visits.
  • At the checkout counter, over half of food retail executives say
    offering more prepared grab and go meals would perform best.
  • These executive views align with consumers wanting a faster and more
    convenient shopping experience. And, 92% of consumers said it's
    important that the layout of the store makes it easy to find things.

Grocery Shopping in 2023

  • Looking ahead five years, almost nine in ten food retail executives
    (85%) say it is likely more physical stores will be offering ways to
    auto-replenish basics; four in five (81%) say it is likely that there
    will be pop-up supermarkets in urban and rural areas to make it easier
    to shop; almost two-thirds say it is likely that supermarkets will
    become more of a community social gathering place with bars and
    restaurants (65%), and that the majority of supermarkets will be
    checkout free (64%).
  • In addition, over half of executives (53%) say that over the next five
    years it's likely that frozen and refrigerated goods will be
    distributed throughout stores, rather than just at the back of the
    store; this is significant, as three-quarters of food retail
    executives (74%) believe sales of frozen foods will continue to rise
    in popularity.

Additional Resources

  • For more information on the study, please visit:
  • To read Phononic's original "Store of the Future" survey of shoppers,
    please visit here.
  • To learn more about Phononic's new-to-market solid-state merchandizing
    freezer technology and how it can drive new revenue opportunities,
    please visit here,
    or watch the product featured on CNBC's
    Squawk Box

*A portion of the survey questions were phrased as "select all that
apply," allowing for multiple answers from retail executives.

About Phononic

Phononic's unrivaled approach to solid-state cooling is breaking the
boundaries of semiconductor innovation to deliver unprecedented
performance and sustainability across the globe. From
disrupting refrigeration and freezing, to cooling pinhead-sized fiber
optics components, Phononic's technology takes infinite forms to unseat
the wasteful and unreliable cooling solutions of the past, which depend
on bulky compressors, noisy fans and noxious gases simply not suited for
the modern world. Phononic is transforming the way life-saving drugs and
vaccines are protected, data is transmitted, and food and beverages are
sold, stored and transported. The company has been named to the 2016 and
2017 CNBC Disruptor 50 lists, received the US EPA's 2017 Emerging Tech
Award, R&D 100 Award and more. For more information visit or
follow us on Twitter @Phononic_Inc.

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