Canadians warm up to buying groceries online: home delivery and pick up models thrive

Created on 4/26/2017 1:26:00 PM

Although the decline of retail may be over exaggerated, there is no doubt that competition is getting fierce - with meal kits, home delivery, Click & Collect, online expansion and pharmacies increasingly offering food - retailers are trying new and varied ways to stay in the game.

Audiences at FCPC's 2017 Supply Chain Symposium heard from numerous industry experts who agree that Canadian consumers are warming up to buying their groceries online and they expect an omni-channel experience.

Supply Chain participants
Engaged audience at the best supply chain conference ever

Our first speaker, Hardeep Kharaud, SVP, Supply Chain Replenishment at Loblaw Companies Limited, captivated the audience with his candid look at where Loblaw is currently focusing its attention.

"Technology is changing the game," Kharaud said. "Ecommerce penetration in Canada is catching up to that of leading global markets and Canadians are engaging in multiple channels, including the digital and paper flyer, store visit, web, PC/tablet search and smart phone search - 8% of consumers used all six channels."

Kharaud also shared how the Click & Collect program is providing Loblaw invaluable insight into shopper habits and supply chain efficiencies "Click & Collect has given us tremendous insight on how to replenish a shelf - we want to ensure we have what the consumer wants; availability becomes key with the Click & Collect channel."

Loblaw, Uber Speakers
(l-r) Hardeep Kharaud, SVP, Supply Chain Replenishment at Loblaw Companies Limited and Dan Park, General Manager at UberEats

Dan Park, General Manager at UberEats Canada presented current food trends as well as predictions for how people will eat in the future. "The number of meals eaten at home has dropped about 20%," said Park. "Restaurant spending has exceeded grocery spending for the first time ever in the U.S." He continued to explain, as people experience their food more and more online, eating will become more data driven with a direct feedback loop to restaurants and retailers.



Nilam Ganenthiran, SVP, Business Development & Strategy at Instacart, a grocery delivery service, shared his company's learnings of shopper behaviour. "80% of purchases on our platform are repeat items and average online session times are declining," Ganenthiran explained. "This is likely due to the 'repeat order' button, which aims to make the ecommerce experience as easy as possible and makes it imperative you get your product into that initial basket."

Supply Chain Speakers
(l-r) Nilam Ganenthiran, SVP, Business Development & Strategy at Instacart and Robin Sherk, Director of Retail Insights, Kantar Retail

"Even though grocery ecommerce in Canada lags, it is catching up and interest is strong," Robin Sherk, Director of Retail Insights, Kantar Retail tells the audience. "Shoppers are seeking various online models; they want both pickup and delivery."

Sherk then provided forecasts of where Walmart and Amazon will be differentiating themselves online "Amazon is the second largest retailer in the world after Walmart and both are looking at how to serve next generation."

Supply Chain Speakers
(l-r) Fotios Raptis, Senior International Economist at TD, Daniel Myers, Executive Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain at Mondelez International Inc. and Jeff Harrop, Partner at Demand Clarity Inc.

Daniel Myers, Executive Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain at Mondelez International Inc., delivered an inspirational speech about the four pillars of becoming a passionate leader and left the audience with these words of wisdom "People don’t care about your results they care about how you impacted their life."

Fotios Raptis, Senior International Economist at TD provided a rosy economic forecast.  Overall there has been a global upturn since mid-2016; however, uncertainty remains with U.S. policies. Raptis predicts growth will average about 2%, above trend, leading the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates in 2018.

"The supply chain is broken; we have to change our execution completely," said Jeff Harrop, Partner at Demand Clarity Inc. "Improving retailer supplier relations is about changing processes and behaviours not just sharing data." Harrop showed the audience how to think differently about improving the integrated supply chain from manufacturer to shelf.

Supply Chain CEO Panel
(l-r) Moderator Steve Johnston, CHEP Canada Inc., Chris Hamilton, Mars Canada Inc., Britta Lesaux, 3M Canada Company and Mike Pilato, The Clorox Company of Canada, Ltd.

The day wrapped up with a candid CEO panel discussion, about how the supply chain profession is changing and gaining a more prominent role within organizations.

"Supply chain is the most important thing; you can’t talk about anything else unless you have a solid supply chain," said Lesaux. Hamilton added, "We need to think cross functionally in everything we do and have supply chain leaders at the table."

"If you are not flexible you are dead,” said Pilato about the consolidated grocery environment. “Every hurdle is an opportunity – be the first of your competitors to see this."

 To learn more about upcoming FCPC events click here.

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Food & Consumer Products of Canada is Canada's largest industry association representing the companies that manufacture and distribute the vast majority of food, beverage and consumer goods found on grocery store shelves. Our members provide jobs to almost 300,000 Canadians, and include small and large multinational and Canadian owned companies.
Food & Consumer Products of Canada
2700 Matheson Boulevard East, East Tower, Suite 602E
Mississauga, ON L4W 4V9
Tel: (416) 510-8024
Fax: (416) 510-8043
info@fcpc.ca
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