Efficiency is vital in the low-margin grocery business, and startups are offering grocers new tools to reduce waste, optimize pricing and merchandising, automate the checkout process, and more.
US grocery businesses are facing increased competition from Amazon and lower-priced new entrants — and Kroger’s, Albertson’s, and other major US chains are caught in the crosshairs.
The pricing pressure traditional grocers face from Walmart is about to be compounded by the US launch of European discount chain Lidl, while in logistics, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods promises to raise consumer expectations for on-demand grocery delivery and grocery e-commerce.
In this competitive landscape, dozens of startups have sprung up to help traditional large grocers compete. In the market map below, we highlight companies that offer products ranging from sensors to track shopper routes throughout the store to virtual reality applications to design more attractive product displays.
As technology giants like Amazon move deeper into the grocery space — bringing their focus on data with them — these startups may make attractive targets. Following the Whole Foods deal, Amazon may look to acquire startups that would help it integrate Whole Foods operations with its existing logistics infrastructure. Kroger and other grocers, on the other hand, may look to startups to help them compete.