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woman shopping for meat wrapped in case-ready packaging

The Changing Face of the Retail Grocery Shopper

January 11, 2021

Consumer use and purchase patterns that were once fairly predictable have now become subject to uncertainty and change. While U.S. consumers are known to be resourceful or patient when dry pantry items aren’t available — when it comes to the meat case — shoppers will go elsewhere if you don’t have what they’re looking for.

Right now, it’s hard to know exactly what the future holds for the food supply chain, but it’s likely that case-ready food packaging may hold the key to helping processors and retailers prepare for what may come next. 

Case-ready packaging helps mitigate the risk of changing shopper behaviors.


It’s not just about being ready for e-commerce. It’s about being ready for whatever channel your customers choose — from e-commerce to in-store to third party collection and delivery. Case-ready packaging helps you tackle the challenge of changes of shopper behavior, because a single platform works across all channels.

Case-ready packaging allows for information such as sell-by dates, portion size, and price to be easily communicated on the package, which makes for a better experience when customers shop online or request a third party to “search the shelf” on their behalf.

Consumers appreciate the fact that clear trays or vacuum skin packs allow improved product visibility, as well as the convenience of going from the case to the freezer with no repackaging needed. And because case-ready packaging also helps minimize touchpoints in the meat case, shelves can be stocked faster and food safety concerns can be alleviated.

Experts are now predicting that changes in grocery shopping behavior could be here to stay, with numbers far greater for online shopping than what was predicted just a few months ago. While a combined online/offline shopping model is the pattern most likely to survive in the long term, the rise of e-commerce engagement with an older demographic has elevated safety as a primary driver and reason for shopping online. 


Chart showing grocery shoppers are ordering online more due to Coronavirus

Case-ready packaging offers retailers the ease and convenience of a single format that is consumer-friendly for shoppers who shop in person, by click-and-collect, or through a third-party, online resource.

Some experts predict the trend to include or even prefer online grocery shopping may continue even after pandemic social restrictions have ended.