The future of food retail – News Augsburg, Allgäu and Ulm


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Grocery retail is booming like never before. supermarket chains like Aldi, Edeka and Co. experience annual sales growth. In 2015 alone, the increase compared to the previous year was from 1.4 to 9.8 percent. In 2020, this turnover skyrocketed as there were hamster purchases, which included food with a particularly long shelf life. The food retail sector is therefore one of the sectors with the highest turnover in Germany. How did that happen? And what does the future of food retail look like?

That is what the following will be about. First, the rise of the food trade is discussed. Then it comes to the food trade in Germany and the online trade.

The rise of the grocery trade.

Today you can comfortably do all your shopping at the supermarket or discount store, so it’s hard to imagine that this wasn’t the case for a long time. Until the 1960s, shoppers in Germany had to go through quite cumbersome ways to make their purchases. Bread was only available at the baker, fruit and vegetables at the greengrocer, fish at the fishmonger, meat at the butcher, etc. What you do for once today used to be a walk through the middle of the city.

America started it. In the 1930s, the King Kullen chain opened a store selling baked goods, fruits, vegetables and more under one roof. In addition, customers were not served as they were in individual stores. They could choose their favorite items themselves and then arrange everything in the box.

It would be another three decades before the trend reached Germany. The first self-service stores appeared in Germany in the late 1930s, but they were the exception for a long time. The reason for this was the unknown concept of self-service, but also the fear of losing the close bond between the customer and the store owner.

The development of the food trade in Germany

They were as late as the 1960s the corner shops the norm when it came to grocery shopping. For special orders you had to go to other stores. Supermarkets, which spread cautiously in Germany, became increasingly attractive at that time because, on the one hand, more money was available. Also, good food was fashionable as a status symbol at the time. But one problem remained: Compared to neighborhood stores, supermarket products were much more expensive. The reason for this was price maintenance, ie the fact that manufacturers set the price of their products themselves.

That changed when Karl and Theodor Albrecht opened the world’s first discount store in Germany in 1962. To avoid fixed prices and offer their products at lower prices, they produced products under their own name. They invented their own brand, the price of which they could determine themselves. Even after price support ended in the 1970s, discount stores continued to be successful.

Thanks to the mobility that cars provide, people can also afford to buy more goods at once. They began to prefer supermarkets and discount stores to neighborhood stores. Due to the constantly growing offer of all kinds of products in one place, you could do your weekly shopping in no time. This became increasingly popular.

Meanwhile, the range of supermarkets and discount stores is almost limitless. Own brands and several brands share exhibitors and supermarkets now also have online stores. Competitive pressure cannot be ignored either. Manufacturers compete for the lowest prices and highest sales.

Buy groceries online

Technology has definitely changed our lives. It has become easier and faster. Is it any surprise that grocery shopping is also included? More and more supermarkets and discount stores offer to deliver their products to your doorstep. You just have to choose them online.

Of course, this is a great advantage. A few clicks and your weekly purchases will be ready. While you continue browsing online, chatting with friends or playing games like the casino classic jam jars play, the supermarket employees pack your products according to your wishes. They are then delivered by other employees. Selected providers also allow you to choose your delivery time, so you can make the most of your day. Of course, supermarkets also benefit from this. You earn on shipping costs, which are added to the prices of the goods. In addition, the rush in supermarkets is less.

Conclusion and perspective

Food retailing is one of the best-selling sectors in Germany and very important for the economy. What was still the small and cozy corner shop in the 1960s, which you had to take time to visit, is now the supermarket, where you can buy everything in a jiffy. The selection is bigger, the prices are getting lower. The self-service model and different types of products in the same building is still very popular.

The online sector has also now recognized the value of food retailing and offers home delivery of goods. This saves time, but also stress. Because you no longer have to look for your purchases in the supermarket. If you have difficulty leaving home due to health or old age, grocery delivery is a real blessing.

It can be assumed that supermarkets will continue to adapt to the trend. Due to the still high number of infections, even more people are likely to use home delivery. Supermarkets and other providers will respond and adapt their offers to the growing demand. This makes digital grocery shopping even more appealing. However, it is hard to imagine that visits to supermarkets will be digital only in the foreseeable future. Shopping is not as social an event as it is at the corner store, but it is still a way to socialize informally. Who would want to do without small talk with cashiers?