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Your Employees Desperately Want to Find Meaning in Their Work. Here’s a Simple Way to Help Them
Work is in disrepair–but there’s something you can do about it.
CREDIT: Getty Images

The world is suffering a disease. I’m not talking about famine or inequality. I’m not talking about global warming, American politics, or smartphone addiction. I’m talking about work.

The perils of the modern workplace are well documented. Spirit-sapping offices prioritize power dynamics and useless posturing. Work environments oriented around results, where workers are given control, are simply all too rare. Work is in serious disrepair.

Ineffectual management is ubiquitous and bold leadership is an exception. It’s one of the main reasons why we continue to see sky-high employee disengagement around the globe. According to Office Vibe, 60 percent of employees report that their work is taking a personal toll on their life. Physically and emotionally they suffer. Too many workers show up every day at a sorry excuse for a workplace. A whopping 57 percent of employees say they wouldn’t recommend their company as a good place to work. This begs the question–why on earth are they there?

For starters, many feel trapped. They haven’t been given the one thing they need to turbo boost motivation and increase job satisfaction. It all comes down to control. Like all aspects of our lives, we want freedom over how we get work done. We want to exercise judgment over what we work on, and when and where we work on it. Yet in so many workplaces, employees are stripped of these liberties. Restricting workers’ control over how they work is actually one of the surest ways to lower morale, deflate motivation, and stifle innovation.

The Best Places to Work

Edwin Jansen is a recovering manager. After 10 years at a big Toronto-based technology company, he knew it was time for a change. He had to find his calling. An unreasonable fellow, he set about doing every exercise that might help him find his why. In the process, he organized weekly meet-ups to aid others in search of their callings. Prior to facilitating his largest yet meet-up, Jansen explains he felt a tingle throughout his body. It turned out, Jansen found his purpose when he was helping others to connect to meaningful work.

In a series of subsequent events, Jansen soon found himself as head of marketing at Fitzii — a hiring platform that matches people with work they care about. Most notably, Fitzii is a company with no managers. Everyone manages themselves, and by virtue brings their best selves to work. In his quest to help connect people with meaningful work, Jansen has seen an entire generation adopt a new ethos:

“The individual needs to see that their success is going to be self-driven. ‘I am going to pick myself, define what I want to do, what differences I want to make, and how I will be valuable to people. I am my own brand – I am going to own it and make my way.'”

Cliche as it may sound, describing his transformation Jansen says it was as if a weight, that he didn’t even know was there, had been lifted from his shoulders. It should come as little surprise because when he took more control over his work, he became more humble and more hungry to become a better leader. He learned to manage himself better and now helps others do the same. Jansen wakes up each day and knows precisely what he needs to do, and simply does it.

Jansen is adamant that giving control is the real remedy to one of the most pressing problems in business today. Disengagement in the workplace need not be an epidemic. Letting people manage themselves is not just good business, it’s also humane.

Better Questions

We should be modelling our companies more like our cities. As cities grow they get smarter, better connected, and more efficient. More patents are filed, more innovation takes places, more creativity flourishes. But as our organizations scale they tend to get stupider. Decision making is increasingly centralized and slower, artificial power infests every nook and cranny, and people go home feeling diminished and diffused.

Reassuringly, folks at the world’s most pioneering companies are asking better questions about how we can organize in work. Like Jansen, they are experimenting and learning what environments best nourish people. They continually ask: do employees feel empowered to bring their best selves to work? Do they give more than they take? Are there strong social ties between colleagues? Is authority distributed in the right way?

The best places to work have many common characteristics. They prioritize activity-based working (ABW) — whatever mode of work you happen to be in, there is a space that caters to it. These places champion movement, encouraging happy collisions and interesting collaborations. They feature nature heavily, taking note from the science of biophilia which helps boost productivity and creativity. But most importantly, they act as destinations; places that people choose to go because they can both give what they want and get what they need.

Being Human

It’s time for a fresh approach and a renewed attitude towards work. I believe in the years to come, how we choose to spend our time and what we decide to work on is going to make us less mechanical, and more human.

Soon more than half of the American workforce will be independent.  Three-quarters of the world’s workforce is going to be made up of millennials. Success is going to be self-driven. You’ll need to understand how you add value in the world, adopt the right mindset and have the aptitude to carve out and continually craft your career. Along with continuing education, self-awareness is going to be instrumental in helping you perform at your best. You’ll need to keep your peripheral vision popping; to see the connections between industries, disciplines, people, places and beyond.

Self-management will continue to gain more favourability in the workplace. The practice places emphasis on you to direct your own time and cultivate rich rhythms and rituals of work. And self-efficacy is going to distinguish those that flourish versus flounder. In a world that is only changing faster and becoming more complex, being resilient is a need to have ability.

We can undo the dystopian future that lurks around the corner. We can design a future of work that we actually want. We can be sincere with ourselves and understand what each of us yearn for. More importantly, we can ask one another how we can help. Ultimately — each of us should decide how we want to organize in work. If we are what we repeatedly do, then how we direct our energy and spend our time is what really what matters.

One by one we can help put the world of work at ease.


Produce Butcher

By D. Gail Fleenor – 03/20/2018

Customers are stepping right up to counters or kiosks and receiving personal attention with a new service: produce butchers.

At least a half-dozen supermarket chains in the United States and Canada are now offering this service to customers who want to add fresh produce in a convenient form for a healthier diet, are seeking convenience in meal preparation, may be uncertain about cutting some fresh items, or just don’t want to be bothered with slicing and dicing. The new service is a way for supermarkets to compete with mass merchandisers and online grocers offering ready-to-cook meals.

Supermarkets are experiencing an earth-shaking change due to the effect of big-box retailers and ecommerce on sales.

“Consumers are not going to visit a grocer just because it has a produce butcher,” says Caleb Bryant, senior analyst for Chicago-based Mintel. “However, a produce butcher can be one component of a popular grocery store.” Because of threats to the bottom line, supermarkets are focusing on providing customers with a unique experience when shopping, he observes.

Key Takeaways
  • Consider your store’s customer profile before adding a produce butcher. For example, do you have many Millennial shoppers or big spenders?
  • Plan what your produce butcher will do between orders to maximize the labor invested.
  • Decide whether you’ll charge a fee for the produce-cutting service, and what that fee will be based upon, such as by the pound or by particular vegetables or fruits.
  • Pilot the program first at one or two stores to see how produce butchering works in your stores’ area and with your customers.

“The growth of meal kit services, such as Blue Apron, demonstrates that consumers want to cook fresh meals at home but are looking for easy ways to cut down on the time it takes to actually cook a meal,” notes Bryant. “A produce butcher offers customers one less step in the cooking process.”

Produce butchers not only slice and dice, they also provide samples of items and educate customers. New produce items, particularly fruits, enter the sales floor regularly. Some customers may be reluctant to invest in a new item without tasting it. Most produce butchers will cut any item to allow the customer to taste-test before purchase.

“A produce butcher likely appeals most to Millennials, who generally are most interested in unique offerings at grocers,” observes Bryant.

Busy parents may also be willing to pay a bit extra for the convenience a produce butcher offers, he notes. The service could also be beneficial for customers who physically have difficulty chopping produce, such as those with arthritis.

Consumers are interested in retail environments that provide memorable experiences, according to the Mintel Trend “Experience is All” report. Millennials crave experiences, so it’s not unusual that 26 percent of this group say that they’re more likely to grocery shop at a store that offers a unique experience, such as produce butchering, compared with 10 percent of Baby Boomers, according to the report. Millennials are also interested in products and services that help them with at-home cooking, such as pre-cut vegetables.


Inder Salwan has been a vegetable butcher since 2016, when he was hired as the produce expert for Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Pusateri’s notes on its website that it has Toronto’s finest prepared fare and offers a variety of experiences for shoppers. According to Salwan, his role as vegetable butcher began to flourish as he worked primarily on the produce wet wall. Prior to his produce butcher duties for Pusateri’s, he received training in how to chop certain vegetables in different ways.

“Our produce butchers have regular guests and know what those guests like and how they like it prepared.” – Bridget Winkelman, Farmer’s Market and Floral Manager at Coborn’s Isanti, Minn., location.

On a typical day, Salwan first organizes his station and then handles the store’s catering orders to have these finished before guests arrive. Guests hand over the veggies they’d like to be cut to Salwan. He verifies the cut needed and also asks additional questions about the veggie’s use so that the cut will be correct for the customer’s dish.

An estimated time of completion is given, and the veggies are then cleaned, butchered and packaged in tightly sealed plastic containers. Some must be packaged in a particular way, he notes, such as kales and leaf lettuces, with a paper towel sheet underneath the item to absorb moisture.

Like most produce butchers, Salwan also handles pre-cut packages for the sales floor. After closing each day, he cleans and sanitizes everything to be ready for the next day.


St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s is equally sold on produce butchers. Currently, three of the chain’s stores offer “Chop Shoppes,” but the future holds more, asserts Kevin Hurd, company communications and engagement specialist.

“Our next-generation concept stores, new from the ground up or totally remodeled, will have departments that are boutiques,” notes Hurd. “The Chop Shoppe will be one of these. This offers us the chance to go the extra step for customers. We can offer fresh-cut fruits and veggies for time-pressed consumers, along with fresh juices.”

Another change for Coborn’s is a rebranded produce department. “This department will be called ‘Farmer’s Market’ and will have island setups,” explains Hurd, adding that the company will identify markets that are suitable for the new concept, while other company banners aren’t involved in the change.

Training in the handling of produce is big at Coborn’s.

“Our produce butchers are taught the best ways to cut a variety of fruits and vegetables,” says Bridget Winkelman, Farmer’s Market and Floral Manager at Coborn’s Isanti, Minn., location. “Ever cut a mango? These guys are pros at cutting that challenging fruit! They are taught to start with working at doing it correctly first, then working towards speed.”


  • Customers with a high shopping frequency of 3+ times/week
  • Specialty/organicshoppers
  • Shoppers interested in new-item tips and promotions
  • Customers who spend $100+ per week
  • Customers who live in the western U.S.

Source: “The Power of Produce 2017,” Food Marketing Institute

Winkelman notes that Coborn’s produce butchers are taught many different knife skills and best safety practices.

“Most importantly, they are taught food safety skills,” she points out. “Proper hand washing and product washing is emphasized before they even enter into the department. Any produce butcher can assure you that they know how to wash, rinse and sanitize their surfaces and dishes regularly.”

Produce butchers bring value to supermarkets through their knowledge of produce, Winkelman maintains.

“Our produce butchers are the experts at knowing what is delicious right now,” she observes. “They have cut it all, and can give tips and advice to our guests who maybe aren’t sure about items. They provide a service that builds loyalty. Our produce butchers have regular guests and know what those guests like and how they like it prepared.”

What’s more, cutting produce in the department rather than in the prep room fills the department with aromas that evoke a fresh feeling for shoppers, adds Winkelman.


Coborn’s produce butchers prepare an entire case of ready-to-go fresh-cut fruit and vegetables daily, which can include only one item per container or five-plus for a fruit medley. Favorite items are ready-to-go berries for snacking, fruit and veggie trays for parties, and diced onion mixes “so our guests don’t have to cry at home,” Winkelman notes. A variety of fresh juices is prepared as well. “We only put fruit and vegetables in our juices — no water, no added sugars and no preservatives, for a clean and healthy drink,” she asserts.

Emily Hankey, produce butcher at Whole Foods’ Bryant Park store in New York.

“The types of requests we receive can be anything from shredded cabbage for coleslaw to finely diced peppers for a stir-fry,” says Pusateri’s Salwan. The most common requests at the store are for celery, carrots, cucumber, peppers, and even potato sticks (julienne). “Diced celery, peppers and zucchini are very popular,” he continues, “and, of course, there is always one person who would like to get an onion chopped, sliced or diced.”

Lowe’s Foods, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., offers its Pick & Prep service at some locations. Customers choose the produce they want, fill out a form explaining how they want it prepped, hand in the form and produce to the produce butcher at Pick & Prep, and pick it up at the end of their shopping trip.

Francis Podrebartz, a produce butcher at a Lowe’s Foods store in Bolivia, N.C., points out that many requests from customers are seasonally dependent.

“In the fall and winter months, butternut squash peeled and diced is a hit,” he notes. “In the summer months, it’s a toss-up between premium fruit bowls, Pico de Gallo and guacamole.”


Retailers are planning their own produce butcher programs to suit their customers and their facilities. Encino, Calif.-based Gelson’s Market is piloting a produce butcher program at its Century City, Calif., location, which also offers valet parking, a Wolfgang Puck Express in-store restaurant, and a wine and craft beer bar, among other upscale amenities.

“Our produce Chop Shop features a produce chef,” observes Paul Kneeland, senior director produce, food service, floral and bakery operations for Gelson’s.

Like other grocery stores, the produce chef chops all day to keep prepared fruit and vegetables on the shelves. If a customer wants something cut, they select the produce or allow the chef to do so.


These supermarkets have chosen to link customers with live produce experts at select locations to compete with mass merchandisers and meal kits like Plated.

“The customer fills out an order form detailing how they want the produce cut, such as coins, sticks, etc., and notes the size of the cut — fine, quarter-cut, etc.,” notes Kneeland.

A menu is displayed on the wall behind the produce chef detailing the prices of types of vegetables or fruit prepared. In addition to ordering in-store, customers can order online or by phone. They can wait while their order is prepared, which Kneeland says many customers prefer to do: “They like to engage the chef about their order.” Customers can also receive a text while shopping when their order is complete. If possible, the produce chef even takes the order to the customer in the store.

This may be still a pilot program, but Kneeland notes that the company has already identified locations for future Chop Shop services. Smaller stores where there isn’t room on the sales floor for the service will likely have a “Chop Shop Light”: custom cuts performed in the prep room.

So far the initiative is a hit with shoppers.

“Customers are loving the extra service; they love to be pampered!” enthuses Kneeland. “They are asking for things we don’t have listed, like sliced citrus and melon balls.”


Will produce butchers become as common as meat butchers in supermarkets? According to “The Power of Produce 2017,” from Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute, seven in 10 shoppers have an interest in their store offering a produce butcher, while only 18 percent were very interested.

The study notes that some pockets of the country have higher numbers, but that none exceed 27 percent. The ones who were most interested in this service had a high shopping frequency of three or more times per week, were specialty/organic shoppers, were higher spenders of $100-plus per week and lived in the western United States. Of those surveyed, 31 percent said they wouldn’t use the service.

“I think produce butchers have great potential, especially in customer service and engagement, but also in customization,” observes Gelson’s Kneeland. “The trick will be to keep the chef productive. That’s why we have them cutting pre-packaged also.”

“It’s easy to write off produce butchers as a silly concept designed for lazy Millennials, but it actually speaks to major trends occurring in the grocery retailing industry,” insists Mintel’s Bryant, although he doesn’t think that produce butchers are going to start appearing at all grocery stores. “I do expect more stores will start adding them,” he predicts, however. “Moreover, produce butchers represent the direction the grocery retailing industry is going, where stores become more experiential and offer products/services that allow customers to cook at home with more ease and simplicity.”

DC Metrics

DC Metrics: Change Is in the Air
People are our greatest asset. We’ve heard this – and similar sayings – for years. Now, however, leading firms are actually putting this into practice, and are reaping rewards for doing so. Going into 2018, people are still a critical link in the supply chain. -Donnie Williams, Asst. Professor of Logistics & Supply Chain Management, and Karl B. Manrodt, Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, both at Georgia College & State University
DC Metrics: Change Is in the Air

What should you expect in 2018? Here are three things to consider:

Employees really do matter – and firms are measuring their performance. In this year’s study, we asked what companies consider the primary importance to their organization: people, processes, or technology. Sixty-two percent of respondents stated that people were their primary importance. This wasn’t just lip service either, as employee metrics accounted for four of the top 12 most popular metrics for the first time in the history of the study. Additionally, our results show that firms that focus on people first show significantly better results on many of the operational and customer facing performance metrics. These firms also experience the benefit of greater workforce agility, more full-time employees, and greater strategic human resource practices, which allow the firm to gain better utilization of their workforce through skill development and alignment. While technology and processes are still extremely important, these results really do demonstrate that people are still the most critical link that keeps our supply chains running.

Strategy: division and consolidation. Over the past seven years a mix strategy (be all things to all people) and customer service strategy has consistently garnered 80 percent or more of the respondents. During the past three years, customer service has taken the lead (54 percent in 2017) compared to mix at 29 percent. This means that organizational leaders are really focusing on understanding and pleasing their customers. As competition continues to increase, the ability to deliver consistent results that meet customers’ expectations is more critical than ever, particularly with the impact that Amazon is having on the markets through their rapid fulfillment strategies. The benefit of focusing on customer service strategy is that it helps align operations to what could be the most important skill for distribution centers in today’s environment: consistent and rapid execution!

The best get better. In the race to the top, who’s winning? Considering changes in performance from year to year, gains were made by all. Best-in-Class leads the others on improving or maintaining performance on 25 of the measures. Median performers followed closely behind improving or maintaining performance on 23 of the measures, and Major Opportunity performers improved or maintained performance on 21 of the measures.  Why is this important? Three of the five categories of respondents continue to improve year after year. Quite simply, this means that if your performance remains the status quo, you will have trouble keeping up with the competition and fall further behind in your ability to perform well for your customers. This could also impact your ability to retain your employees if you are falling behind on important workforce metrics. Either way, if you aren’t improving, you are losing.

The Outlook

How then should we live? Simply put, people are still our most important asset, particularly in a rapidly changing global supply chain environment. Workers still provide the flexibility and adaptability needed in 2018 to serve their customers. People really are our greatest asset – a fact that still isn’t outdated.


Grocery On Line

RichRelevance Digital Grocery Survey Finds Amazon Takes Early Lead – But 60% of First-Time Shoppers Willing to Explore a New Grocer Online

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shoptalk 2018 – RichRelevance, the global leader in Experience Personalization, today announced key findings from a new 2018 study that looks at consumer preferences and behavior around digital grocery. The study identifies consumers’ appetite for digital grocery and picks out early leaders, as well as the features and capabilities that shoppers want and need.

The survey of 1,500 US shoppers finds that nearly half of Americans (45%) have shopped for some type of groceries online. Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • Amazon has early lead: Amazon attracts twice as many shoppers (60%) as traditional supermarkets (27%) and big box retailers (27%) – and 4 times as many as wholesale clubs such as Costco (15%).
  • Significant opportunity today: Online grocery shoppers have not settled on a grocer of choice, with 4 of 10 (36%) stating they currently shop at more than one online grocery store. And more than 60% of Americans who don’t yet shop online are willing to explore a new grocer when they do.
  • Digital grocery is far from a mature category: A majority (56%) of Americans have yet to shop online for any type of grocery. And, of those who do, 6 of 10 (60%) admit they only shop rarely.
  • Beware of basket size: 6 out of 10 (62%) consumers report spending less when they shop online, and 4 in 10 (39%) report that fewer impulse buys is one of the biggest advantages of shopping online.
  • Shoppers want relevant content: The top features that would push consumers to shop more online range from presenting frequently bought items (56%), favorites (56%), and alternatives (50%) to suggestions to complete a meal (26%) and personalized apps/pages (37%). Linking to a connected fridge ranked last (8%).

“As the fight for category leadership in digital grocery heats up, Experience Personalization will take center stage in 2018,” said Michael Ni, CMO of RichRelevance. “Grocery buying is increasingly becoming a lifestyle choice beyond produce. This is creating opportunities for new grocers to engage consumers with new and fresh ideas, gather key customer browsing and buying behavior, and personalize their various brands, creating a virtuous cycle of loyalty. Grocers need to learn from the early mistakes of traditional retailers and not simply try to compete with Amazon on convenience, but focus on the new opportunity that online shopping provides.”

Online Grocery Requires Dedicated DC


Online grocery CEOs: Using stores to fulfill orders is not the answer

Amazon Insights

Here’s What Amazon Has Learned in Its First 3 Months Running a Store With No Cashiers

Customers love the banh mi, but feel weird just walking out with it

Amazon Go opened in Seattle on January 22.
Getty Images

Three months into Amazon’s latest experiment, the cashier-less Amazon Go store, the company is working on learning who its customers are and adjusting to their feedback.

At a keynote held at Shoptalk, a retail conference in Las Vegas, Gianna Puerini, vp, Amazon Go and Dilip Kumar, vp of technology, Amazon Go and Amazon Books, revealed some of the nuances that went into building Amazon Go and some of the findings they’ve picked up since it opened in January.

“It was super important to us to make [Amazon Go] feel very natural and not have the customer learn new ways to do things,” Puerini said.

Developing this pattern to shop included building algorithms that could handle solving the problem of “who took what,” explained Kumar. It also meant investing in computer vision and these algorithms to avoid the operational cost of a technology like radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.

Puerini touched on the Amazon Go customer experience and how Amazon learns who its customers are and their needs. The Amazon Go app, where customers can leave feedback about the store, provides the company with a bevy of information about its customers. The company’s using that data and information to figure out what what these customers like the most and what they might prefer changed in the store.

Some surprising findings? First or second time customers tend to ask if it’s really “OK to just leave” after finishing their shopping (and that’s why you’ll find a sign above the door that says it’s OK). The chicken banh mi sandwich is the top seller, and Amazon’s meal kits are also “popular.” Fresh fruit in the mornings are another key seller.

Puerini also shared what she’s spending average day on, such as learning traditional retail metrics and practices, like sales, frequency of how often customers shop and how to train retail associates for the store.

“We didn’t know how quickly people would move through it,” Puerini said. “We didn’t know how frequent people would come.”

As a bottom line, Puerini told the audience what to think about when it comes to building out a store like this.

“You have to establish a sustainable business model,” Puerini said. “What it really comes down to is who’s your customer, what can you do that adds value to their life, and what are you uniquely positioned to offer them and if you’re not uniquely positioned to offer it to them, are you willing to build it or buy it or find some other route.”

While the two executives shied away from stating when and if Amazon will open any other Amazon Go stores in the future or if it’ll introduce the model to Whole Foods, they did state that the customer will end up deciding how big the Amazon Go model will get.

“It’s spectacular to be able to invent on behalf of customers,” Kumar said. “If you do it often enough and if you do it well, that’s what we draw our energy from and how big it gets or how popular it gets, customers get to decide that. So whether it becomes ubiquitous or not, customers are the one who will eventually decide.”

When asked, Puerini declined to answer how many customers are returning ones, as well as how many people the store employs. Instead, Puerini pointed to shifting the traditional cashier role associate to stocking the store or cooking food.

The executives also stated there are no current plans to require customers to have an Amazon Prime account to shop at the store.

Grocery On Line

groceryonline3.jpgStudy cites barriers to online grocery shopping
Lack of trust in selecting fresh items, cost of delivery seen as deterrents

Mark Hamstra | Mar 19, 2018

About 45% of consumers have ever shopped for groceries online, and 60% of those say they have rarely done so, according to a new survey from RichRelevance.

The survey found that the biggest barrier to shopping online is that shoppers don’t trust others to pick the best or freshest items, a factor cited by 53.7% of respondents who have not shopped online. Another 44.3% said they don’t want to pay for delivery.

The survey was conducted among 1,500 U.S. shoppers in February by San Francisco-based RichRelevance, which provides digitalized personalization for several large brands and retailers, including Tesco, Barneys New York, Marks & Spencer and Office Depot. (See RichRelevance’s Online Grocery Shopping infographic below.)

Greater convenience was the No. 1 reason respondents gave for shopping online, at nearly 68%, followed by time savings, at more than 62%. Consumers also said they like the fact that online shopping allows them to stick to a list and make fewer impulse buys, cited by 39.3% of respondents. Another 24.3% said they can save money and find better deals online, and 22.8% said it was easier for them to find items that meet their dietary needs, such as gluten-free or vegan.

Of those who have shopped for groceries online, more than half — about 60% — have shopped on Amazon or Amazon Fresh for their groceries, compared with about 27% who said they have shopped from a traditional supermarket online. About 10% said they have shopped online from Whole Foods, and about 15.5% said they have shopped from a warehouse club such as Costco.

Only 9.4% of online grocery shoppers said they do so weekly, while 7.8% said they do so bi-weekly and 22.8% said they do so monthly.

Of those who have shopped online, 47.6% cited limited choice as the most frustrating aspect of doing so. That compared with only 12% of shoppers in the UK who cited limited choice as a frustration. Other aspects of online shopping that frustrate U.S. shoppers include not being able to get assistance in real time (24% in the U.S. vs. 13% in the U.K.), and poor navigation around the site (23% in the U.S. vs. 17% in the UK).

The survey found that 36% of those who have shopped online for groceries said they shop at more than one online grocery outlet, and 56.5% said they do not shop online from the same physical grocer that they usually shop with.

Asked which features would make them more likely to shop online or to shop online more frequently, 56% of consumers said they would be interested in being presented with lists of their frequently bought items, and 50% said they would be interested in being presented with alternative products if their preferred items were not available.

“As the fight for category leadership in digital grocery heats up, experience personalization will take center stage in 2018,” said Michael Ni, chief marketing officer of RichRelevance. “Grocery buying is increasingly becoming a lifestyle choice beyond produce. This is creating opportunities for new grocers to engage consumers with new and fresh ideas, gather key customer browsing and buying behavior, and personalize their various brands, creating a virtuous cycle of loyalty. Grocers need to learn from the early mistakes of traditional retailers and not simply try to compete with Amazon on convenience, but focus on the new opportunity that online shopping provides.”