Keeping the supply chain “fresh” is definitely a growing trend, notes Kristin Wall, retail industry strategy manager at Manhattan Associates. She also sees more interest in the industry for local produce and organic produce. Not only is locally sourced produce attractive to consumers, but sourcing grapes from California or South Florida rather than Chile, for instance, equates to fresher produce on the shelves for a longer period of time, and quicker and cheaper transportation costs, too.
Meanwhile, mass retailers continue to expand their presence in the food sector, says Wall. “Target is redesigning their stores, pulling in more fresh produce and grocery items. Walmart has been doing the same thing. They’re both really starting to hone in on the grocery market.”
And for Walmart, the concept isn’t contained to the U.S. alone. Since the company’s first international foray—to Mexico in 1991—Walmart has expanded into 25 more countries. Currently, the company’s international division is one of the fastest growing parts of their overall operations.