Means to capture value in e-commerce of groceries : A systematic approach to explore business opportunities for the food packaging and processing industry

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för industriell ekonomi; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för industriell ekonomi

Abstract: The grocery retailing has evolved over the past 60 years from small, local retailers to out-of-town hypermarkets and now the rise of e-commerce of groceries is reshaping the landscape.   This report seeks to understand how the growing field of e-commerce of groceries is affecting a processing & packaging solution provider like Tetra Pak and further identify business opportunities for Tetra Pak. The company has a unique role within the food industry in which they sell around 185 billion packages every year and they have been reshaping the food industry to where it has gotten today with the iconic package for milk and the subsequent introduction of aseptic technology that made it possible to sustain a longer shelf life for its products.   Further, to achieve the research objective, three goals were set up:   Identify the value chain for e-grocery and compare with traditional grocery Identify implication e-grocery has on the packaging system Present business opportunities based on the findings   The first goal was achieved by mapping out e-grocers value chain from a holistic point of view and with further analysis the two following goals could be answered.   The value chain for e-grocery is evidentially different from the traditional value chain in that they offer a service of picking and packing and then deliver safely to the consumer. Within that service e-grocers are facing a lot of challenges and inefficiencies including the high operational cost for their delivery model, conveying the trustworthiness of their service, providing flexibility in line with the consumers’ lifestyle and preference in regards of time-slots and delivery option. Further, technological trends and ventures indicate that e-grocery will advance in the future. Considering technologies such as Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning and Augmented Reality, will lead to new opportunities both for e-grocers but also food producers.   The packaging system for e-grocery indicated that new requirements such as Portion/recipe sized package, isolating grocery bags/ primary packages that can handle the last-mile distribution are needed. Further, Tetra Pak’s package Tetra Brick Aseptic is found to be suitable for e-grocery however it should be tested in order to know exactly how good it is. The stakeholder involved have optimized towards the traditional value chain and seeing that the online grocery shopping is gaining a rapid growth there are both opportunities and challenges to take upon.

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