Phononic, Durham, N.C., released the findings of a study discussing consumers’ grocery shopping preferences. Phononic surveyed 1,100 adults across the United States to understand the current retail landscape and the services shoppers would like grocery stores to offer in the future. Half of survey respondents say that grocery stores haven’t yet figured out how to use technology like other retailers have.

“As e-commerce innovation continues to disrupt brick-and-mortar retail in response to consumers’ desire for more a convenient and personalized shopping experience, traditional retailers are adapting to stay relevant,” says Tony Atti, founder and CEO. “Refrigerators and freezers have long been warehoused in the back of the store, but cooling innovation will realize distributed solutions that feature healthier food options at checkout, more efficient store layouts and additional impulse purchases. By embracing new technology, retailers will improve consumers’ shopping experiences, and ultimately survive – and thrive – in this increasingly competitive landscape.”

The study revealed several common preferences among consumers, including the desire for increased convenience and more options for refrigerated and frozen foods, particularly at the checkout:

Intelligent technology

  • 50% say that grocery stores haven’t yet figured out how to use technology like other retailers have.
  • More than 75% would be likely to use smart technology in a refrigerated unit to find recipes or the right food/wine pairings.


  • Most shoppers (89%) want to shop in a grocery store that understands how to make buying groceries an easier and/or more efficient experience, and 92% say it’s important that the layout of the store makes it easy to find things.
  • 64% say they would be more likely to buy products if they were shown together, such as chips and dip or cheese with the crackers.
  • 77% agree that with stand-alone freezers, they’d prefer them to be more at their height instead of reaching down into them.

More checkout options

  • 68% say if grocery stores had new products at checkout, they would be more likely to try them.
  • 59% would buy more at the checkout line if there were healthier options, and 46% say grocery stores should have more refrigerated and/or frozen options at checkout.

Temperature control and safety

  • 92% say it’s important that there is consistent temperature control for all cold products, and 74% say grocery stores should do a better job of letting consumers know the refrigerated and/or frozen food has been kept at a consistent temperature.
  • 63% sometimes worry that the food they buy may not be safe and/or clean.
  • 78% say there’s nothing worse than getting what they think is a cold beverage, but it’s not cold enough and/or too cold or frozen.

Environmentally friendly

  • 82% say it’s important that the store and/or chain is environmentally friendly and/or supports local growers/food producers.