How we prepared a grocer for the Future of Food

This article summarizes a strategic foresight process performed in 2015 to imagine the future of food in 2030.

Challenge

Climate change, purchasing power of the aging boomer generation, and the hyper-connected generation Z cooking for themselves and starting families are only some of the factors impacting what’s on the table in the future.

Approach

We asked, “How might food trends of today shape consumers’ purchasing decisions in the future? How can we help a grocer prepare for the changing needs of their customers?”

Scanned trends fit into categories of society, technology, economics, environment, politics, and values. Some were at the individual level, some were institutional changes and some were both individual and institutional.

An example of one of many trends researched

We generated rich contextual information by conducting trend scanning research.

This led to the generation of four different future scenarios using foresight methodology.

From the scenarios, specific informed statements were drawn to create an immersive experience referred to as a “time machine”. This experiential future helped us glean the impact an extreme future situation would have on future customers.

A shortlist of strategies were chosen based on their potential robustness or risk in each scenario, and which aligned best with its culture and capabilities.

Value

We presented the grocer with a number of strategic opportunities to consider in order to remain successful in 2030.

We compiled all of our research, insights, scenarios, and strategies into this document.

Role: Team Member

Team Size: 4 graduate students

Time Frame: 5 months

Client: Master of Design Project/ Loblaws

Methods:
Desk research
Trend scanning
Signal, trend and driver analysis
Scenario Development
Experiential Future
Strategy Design

Visual design by Roxanne Nicolussi and Janice DeJong

designs experiences, solves complex problems, fights for social justice, nerds out on AI ethics & futures

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