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The Food Institute: Is Self-Checkout a Consumer Terminator? Retail, Robots, and More in 2024

If store managers had a crystal ball for 2024, seeing self-checkout as a cultural battleground might have been written off as operator error. But crystal balls aren’t supposed to fail, and neither are people when left to pay for their own products, yet here we are. There is no Groceradamus prognosticating the future of F&B, but the next best (and arguably more accurate) source is data. And there’s quite a bit of it. 

The GDP report from last week was promising; the domestic GDP grew 3.3% in the fourth quarter, solidifying a solid (though still absolutely wild) year for American consumers and the brands they support (or abandon – just ask Anheuser-Busch how their year went). But people are spending money, and though food prices remain high for most consumers – and top-of-mind as well – there is much to anticipate in the year ahead.

Retail Therapy Has Never Been Less Therapeutic

First, despite promising national numbers and low jobless rates for an on-paper thriving economy, most average consumers still stress about buying groceries. A recent report from Food Technology revealed top consumer trends in that regard were comfort spending and making tough decisions about what and how much to put in their carts.


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