The concept of the field to fork philosophy is a common practice with many of the modern day suppliers of groceries to the general public. The fundamentals of this practice look at continuing the idea of fresh and wholesome products, that have the impression of freshly picked, dug up or packaged much like locally sourced items had back in the 1920s.
The idea of a milk man with the clink of bottles heard from yards away, the fish monger arriving on his push bike with a wicker basket full with plaice and ice. The butchers cart laden with all the cuts, from cheap to pricey, prime to offcuts, all delivered to your door, in unique vehicles designed with the care and love only a sole trader could have. The idea is that a product will at every stage still continue to be perceived as freshly picked, plucked, or de-podded, and maintain that perception through the use of packaging, delivery vehicles, and containers.
Although those days are long behind us, and with the customer now doing the majority of legwork, a recent resurgence in food delivery services has shown itself to be the next bastion in the supermarket wars.
Touching on the specific dedication that 1920s era grocers had towards the look and feel of their service, many of the current suppliers of retail ready FMCG, have carved out a detail design on every small aspect of branding throughout the retail chain. From Ads to trolleys, products to staff uniforms, all of these are designed for one purpose, to build a perception in the mind of the customer that this is a professional outfit who can be trusted. However, with ever expanding competition at the top, differentiation is now becoming key to cut through the noise.
As one major chain has adapted to one USP they wish to be known for, another has used another. Each top chain now has there own brand and that brand has its own idea of how it wishes to be perceived.
Yet, one of the last areas that has not employed the required philosophy, to stay ahead in this competitive game, is the final delivery perception.
The delivery is currently ordered buy the customer for a specific time, and essentially they invite the brand into their home to drop of the goods that they repeat purchase each week. You would expect this part of the journey to be well defined. A perfect example of how a brand can make the right impression by the equipment, attire, and appearance in which they interact with that customer could develop a loyal trusting customer to that modern day grosser.
Although the speed and levels of cost saving they wish to achieve somehow negates that, this is one aspect that could provide a way of cutting them far and above the competition.
With the smallest of changes to the overall end user experience, a large return on investment could be seen. Although the investment in ‘vintage’ looking, yet robust crates could increase the cost at base level, the creation and increase of brand image can result in a long standing partnership between customer and supplier.
Many of the customers who use the online shopping services, do so for the convenience of delivery, and with that comes the lack of need to step foot in the traditional supermarkets. This could provide a situation where the only exposure, out side of the well-scripted and designed adverts, they have is at the point of contact between delivery driver and user. This is where streamlining of the brand and philosophy of the company needs to show through. With the addition of a well-crafted delivery van, a well-structured uniform, and high quality containers, that are so prominent to the end user, a true understanding of the company’s ideals and image can be portrayed. Only then will the loyalty of the customer be tested in the supermarket wars.