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Groceryshop 2023 takeaways: From AI to robotics and beyond

Cron Andrew 130748
By: Andrew Cron, SVP & Chief Scientist

I recently had the opportunity to attend Groceryshop 2023 in Las Vegas, a major conference bringing together leaders across the grocery retail and CPG industries. In its fifth year with over 4,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors, the conference was bustling with discussions about the latest innovations, challenges and insights shaping the future of the grocery industry. After soaking in all that Groceryshop had to offer, a few key themes emerged for me:

The potential of AI

Generative AI was highlighted extensively at the event, with many discussions centered on both the tremendous value it can bring to areas like forecasting, personalization and marketing, as well as the need to implement it thoughtfully and ethically. One speaker used the phrase “CEO-FOMO” to describe the palpable excitement from executives combined with a measured approach by innovators — a balance I think our industry needs to achieve.

The acceleration of retail media

Retail media was another big focus, as brands look to retail partners to better influence and connect with customers along their shopping journeys. With shopper data and digital real estate, retailers have assets to unlock huge mutual value. But doing so takes collaboration and putting the customer first.

Delivering seamless experiences

Today’s consumer expects a seamless experience whether shopping online or in-store. Exhibitors showcased technologies like automation, sensors and robotics to bridge digitally-influenced behaviors into the physical aisle. As an industry, we must meet shoppers wherever they are.

Key moments:

I was proud to see Kroger highlighted as an innovation leader, with Rodney McMullen speaking at a keynote interview with CNBC retail reporter Melissa Repko. His vision for the future aligns to the important work we do at 84.51°. Insights from Barbara Connors, who spoke on a panel, demonstrated how the lingering impacts of inflation, shifts in brand loyalty and other factors are reshaping the grocery shopping landscape.

Exploring the exhibit hall, there’s so much happening in grocery technology right now—from AI/ML tools for forecasting, personalization, ad generation, insights, etc. The pace and investment in innovation has not slowed down. If anything, it’s speeding up.

It’s also exciting to see innovation from a hardware perspective. Robotics, sensors, automation, smart shelves to name a few. It’s clear that the pace of innovation is accelerating further, allowing us to drive more value for our customers. I’m energized by the opportunities ahead.

Cron Andrew 130748
Andrew Cron, SVP & Chief Scientist
As Senior Vice President & Chief Scientist, Andrew Cron is the Head of 84.51° Labs, whose mission is to accelerate transformational data science technology innovation across 84.51° and Kroger. Applications include ent...

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