Tesser and Food Marketing Institute Unveiled a Glimpse Into the Food Retail Store of the Future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Barbara Zamost
June 11, 2014
(415) 987-2810


-- Key Findings Show Industry Must Reinvent Itself to Stay Competitive

CHICAGO – You don’t need a crystal ball to get a glimpse into the future of grocery, one of the nation’s most influential industries.

Tesser, a San Francisco brand strategy and design firm, was tapped by Food Marketing Institute (FMI), representing 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, to lead an intensive, one-year creative exploration with food industry thought leaders, grocery CEOs and technology innovators on what key drivers and marketplace trends to expect in the next 10 years. With its multidisciplinary team of creative thinkers, strategists and designers, Tesser envisioned the future of grocery.

The Retail Experience of the Future (RETF) was unveiled at FMI Connect, the food retail industry’s largest conference in the country with more than 12,000 attendees, on June 11, 2014, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

"The grocery industry is at a big historical crossroads; essentially, the castle is surrounded," says Tré Musco, president and chief creative officer at Tesser. "Competition from the restaurant industry, rise of online shopping and numerous food retail options available to consumers have splintered how consumers shop for food. The time is ripe for the grocery industry to reinvent itself to stay relevant and grow in the coming decade. Grocery has a powerful impact on day-to-day life and the potential is enormous to capture additional market share while improving people’s lives."

Tesser’s team worked closely with FMI, and fellow sponsors including American Express, Coca-Cola Refreshments, The Hershey Company, Hussmann Corporation, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, MyWebGrocer, PwC, SAP and Tesser’s highly collaborative discovery and strategic design process brought to life a preview of the future that featured the changing role of the retailer, food marketing, consumer behavior and technology’s function in the marketplace. The findings inspired optimism and stimulated positive thought and discussions around planning for the future. The RETF exhibit featured thought-provoking vignettes around these key topics:

  • Grocery stores will become more consumer-driven destinations, moving from a mostly functional "need" state to a more emotional "want" state-of-mind much like successful non-food retailers
  • Hyper-showrooming™, a term coined by Tesser, will combine a multi-sensory in-store experience with instantly accessible proprietary data, creating a shopping experience that is more compelling than either traditional bricks and mortar or online
  • Enhanced stores will offer micro-personalization on a macro scale for allowing consumers to purchase the exact product or service they are looking for in real time
  • Changing demographics, and lifestyles will drive retailers to have an even larger role in facilitating shoppers’ well being
  • Store environments will become highly responsive, transforming to match consumers’ needs based on time of day, season, and promotions
  • Advancements in training, automation and wearable technology will allow store associates to provide a concierge level of service
  • Technology will enhance the consumer experience without being disruptive
  • Tesser sees the entire shopping experience evolving based on the RETF to accommodate the changing needs of consumers and to maximize industry growth.

"This is an exciting time to re-invent the food retail industry in order to leverage its historical strengths and its huge number of conveniently located stores," Musco adds. "For leading retail food companies the store of the future will help build deeper relationships and loyalty with consumers, empower store associates, create closer partnerships with product companies, and ensure the vibrancy of the industry into the future."

About Tesser

Since 1993, Tesser has been building powerful brands by focusing on the big picture: 360 degrees of uncompromised thinking on brand strategy and integrated design. As strategic consultants, designers, and branding experts, Tesser helps clients create both long-term brand value and highly effective design programs. For further information on Tesser’s innovative work, visit

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