Dunnhumby survey explores consumer attitudes on AI for budgeting, reducing food waste

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

© da-kuk / Getty Images
© da-kuk / Getty Images

Related tags AI Personalization

Shoppers see the potential of AI to better manage grocery budgets and reduce food waste, but many are not sold on the potential of self-driving technology or customer service chatbots, dunnhumby shared in its latest Consumer Trends Tracker report.

In the report, dunnhumby surveyed 2,000 US consumers​ to understand their attitudes on AI technology. Overall, 46% of consumers said AI can be used to better secure stores, 45% said it can provide personalized rewards and recommendations, and 42% said it can be a tool to better budget.

However, consumers were less likely to think driverless delivery vehicles (30%), self-driving shopping carts (31%), and customer service chatbots (34%), were appealing uses of AI in grocery.

Per age demographics, 58% shoppers under the age of 45 said that personalized rewards and recommendations were appealing uses of AI, followed by 57% of consumers who wanted to use AI for budgeting. Consumers older than 55 largely distrusted AI, but 40% saw it's potential for store security and fraud detection, the highest percentage for any AI use case for the demographic.

How AI can help shopper make grocery lists, stick to a budget

While inflation is cooling, consumers still want to stretch their budgets, and AI can provide one way to do it. AI applications like HyperWrite can create grocery lists for shoppers, while retailers like Wegmans are conducting pilot tests of technology that provide running totals of what consumers are putting in their shopping carts, dunnhumby noted in the report.

A majority of consumers (52%) said they shop at different stores to find the best value, and 51% check price online before/during shopping. Consumer perceptions around private label have also improved, with 60% said its very or extremely important for their retailer to have variety of private-label products, and the same percentage agreed that these products are price competitively.

Can AI help reduce food waste?

Most consumers under the age of 45 (56%) also said that it's very or extremely important for retailers to care about food waste, with the same percentage said it's important for them to have sustainable products and packaging. Given AI's capabilities for predicting future trends, 40% of consumers said AI can be helpful to keeping store shelves stock and manage food waste.

Additionally, 54% of consumers said it was important for retailers to stock natural and organic products, while the same percentage said retailers need to support local farmers and businesses.

Despite the potential of AI to help lower grocery bills and reduce food waste, consumers are still skeptical on the technology with only 20% of shoppers saying they mostly or completely trust AI, citing concerns on job impacts, missing the human connection, security, and privacy.

Join FoodNavigator-USA’s Futureproofing the Food System Summit to explore the impact AI, digital transformation will have on the industry

During FoodNavigator-USA's upcoming Futureproofing the Food System Summit​, taking place on Nov. 14-16, 2023, a panel of thought leaders will discuss the role cutting-edge technology will play in addressing a myriad of food challenges in a session titled, "From Fields to Fermentation: How AI and digital transformation are evolving the food and beverage industry.​"

In this session, FoodNavigator-USA deputy editor, Deniz Ataman, will moderate a discussion on how technology can improve operations, addressing challenges like ingredient shortages and reformulations, and explore AI's potential for predicting future market opportunities.

She will be joined by:

  • Manish Ghosh​, corporate VP, industry strategy, consumer industries at Blue Yonder
  • Matias Muchnick​, co-founder & CEO, NotCo
  • Nick Markman​, Director of Product Management, Evocalize
  • Sofia Elizondo​, Co-Founder & COO, Brightseed

To learn more about the virtual summit, visit the event page and register today to secure your seat.​ 


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