Perishable Solutions for Online Grocery

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Even as demand for online grocery of perishable foods increases, the importance of a physical neighborhood store plays an even more important role. It must now accomplish two purposes: 
  1. Continue to provide great in-store experiences
  2. Flexible and adaptable to satisfy on-line shoppers expectations

Product Trends
Certain category of perishable grocery items will fluctuate with demand. As an example, “meal kits” are in high demand today driven by shopper needs. Also, a large percentage of shoppers are buying meal kits online. One of the solutions available are the mobile meat kit merchandisers that can provide the dual flexibility where they can be used in store to attract shoppers or as a mobile storage merchandiser for fresh meal kits to cater to e-commerce demands.

Store Footprint Trends
Physical grocery stores are becoming smaller in size as majority of the dry goods move to online. In existing stores, center dry aisles are being replaced by “fresh” product destinations. This requires, in some cases, adding refrigeration capacity. Merchandisers with customized refrigeration options provide fast and flexible installations for such remodels.
  1. Freedom Line Merchandisers
  2. MicroDS Merchandisers
  3. Self-Contained Roll-In Merchandisers

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In order to meet online demand and improve profitability, some retailers are looking at distribution centers that are either (a) part of existing stores or (b) standalone centers not part of their stores. In both scenarios, when perishable foods are involved, adequate steps need to be taken to ensure food safety and food quality. This can be achieved with appropriate temperature control, monitoring and food safety measures in place.

Hussmann is providing solutions for refrigeration and merchandising in these operations. Whether it be refrigeration systems or cooling coils for walk-in cooler type application, Hussmann focuses on providing the most customer-focused solutions in this area. When merchandisers are used in distribution applications, Hussmann is working with retailers to design these merchandisers for warehouse type application with robust reliability, ease of operations and labor efficiency built into these designs. 

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Many retailers have engaged 3rd party vendors to handle the picking process. Others are using in-store labor for these operations. Picking process can be stressful and labor intensive.

Aperion’s electronic shelf labels or ESLs, offer “Enhanced omni-channel experience” and “Reduced operating cost” for our food retail partners. Real time data can be tied into the store’s e-commerce platform. ESL’s have visual identification that help operators easily identify the products and optimize the picking process. This has shown to improve picking time by an average 30-50% and lead to an average revenue increase of 5% per basket.

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When retailers are using curb-side pick up or other forms of delivery, a staging or holding area is typically used to store perishable foods at appropriate temperatures. Generally, these are extensions of existing stores. Running refrigeration in this area requires additional HVAC and rack capacity for these units.

Hussmann provides various flexible solutions to meet the needs of staging area. These solutions provide flexibility and consider areas of labor efficient operations.

(1) Merchandisers
a. Freedom Line Merchandisers
b. Roll-in Merchandisers
c. Remote Merchandisers
(2) Labor Productivity
a. Electronic Shelf Labels

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Delivery is the most complicated and involved step in the Online Grocery process. To simplify this, many retailers use third party vendors who specialize in delivery. 

Retailers have some other options when offering pick up or delivery to their shoppers. 

Refrigerated lockers can be used outside stores (for pick up) or in neighborhoods with larger customer base for community delivery options. With refrigerated lockers, food quality of medium temperature and frozen perishable products can be preserved until the shoppers pick them up, just like their neighborhood grocery store. 


Online Grocery is a tremendous opportunity with new,
ever evolving challenges. Rapidly learning, adapting and
developing solutions together is the key. Count on Hussmann
to be your trusted partner every step of the way in
helping you satisfy your shopper's expectations.

checklist-mark2.pngLet us help. Take the next step and use our checklist to help assess your needs

For inquiries regarding Pershable Solutions for Online Grocery, contact 
Anand Rajagopalan, Channel Manager
909.548.2440 | anand.rajagopalan@hussmann.com