Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

The Conversation

  • Written by Kathryn Backholer, Senior research fellow, Deakin University

Imagine a world where smart pantries sense when you are running out of your favourite food and order more of it, without you lifting a finger. Where intelligent robots roam your grocery store, ever at your service. Where dynamic food pricing changes minute-to-minute depending on the weather outside, or what the store down the road is offering.

It may sound like a seismic shift in our food retail world, but these technological frontiers are real and the food sector is gearing up in a big way.

What is less certain is what impact such changes will have on our health. Just as entrepreneurs must capitalise on future trends when building a business, health professionals must delve into the future of retail technology to identify barriers and opportunities for the achievement of good health.

The retail technology frontier is already here

Amazon is one company leading the way with its nascent attempts to revolutionise convenient shopping.

AmazonGo is a walk-in-walk-out convenience store where the same types of sensor, vision and deep learning technologies as those used in driverless cars enable shoppers to purchase products without checking out. The concept is currently being trialled in Seattle, USA.

Amazon Prime Air is a conceptual drone delivery system developed to autonomously fly packages to customers in thirty minutes or less. The company made its first drone delivery in 2016 to a shopper in Cambridge, England. A date for large-scale implementation is yet to be confirmed.

Amazon makes its first drone delivery.

Read more: Restaurants not only feed us, they shape our food preferences

British food delivery company, Deliveroo, also has an insatiable appetite for food convenience. The company has a vision where eating at restaurants will be a “special occasion” and home cooking will merely be viewed as “a hobby”. They plan to use AI and robotics to serve a generation of young diners who know home delivery as being the only way to eat.

Profits often prevail over health

In a world driven by corporate profits and solid stakeholder returns, it is easy to see how the technological frontier may be used to drive up profits and drive down health.

An unhealthy diet is now the leading preventable risk factor for the global disease burden. More than 35% of Australian’s energy intake comes from foods and drinks that are not considered part of a healthy diet.

Yet, not surprisingly, our major junk-food manufacturers and retailers are joining the tech revolution to persuade consumers to indulge in more.

Read more: Westfield's history tracks the rise of the Australian shopping centre and shows what's to come

We must ensure new food retail technologies are pathways – not barriers – to better health Mavis Wong/The Conversation NY-BD-CC, CC BY-SA Coca-Cola is putting technological solutions to the test. By combining vending machines with artificial intelligence, Coke intends to bring more joy to the purchase of a sugary drink. Vending machines will be able to chat in a two-way conversation, building emotional connections between Coke and consumers. Confectionary giant, Mars, is using “emotional intelligence” – an application of computer vision and machine learning – to gauge facial reactions to product marketing after finding that positive face expressions could predict advertisements with high sales impacts. Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola are reportedly also using the technology to optimise their product marketing. We need to turn this around We now have a young generation who are more socially conscious than ever before with 73% of millennials believing business could have a positive impact on the world. This generation are also twice as likely to distrust large food companies compared to older generations. We must capitalise on these trends to create demand for a more ethical, healthy and sustainable food system. How can we engineer grocery shopping to be an immersive, salubrious experience? Smart shopping trolleys, equipped with barcode scanners and locating technology, have started to hit retail stores around the world, including in Australia. What if these trolleys were also equipped with resistance controls to incorporate physical activity into your daily shop, with personalised and tailored nutritious food marketing? Or if Google’s ocular scanning devices were incorporated into trolley handles to provide you with a health check, simply by scanning the retina of your eye? Read more: How shopping centres are changing to fight online shopping We could capitalise on retail digital shelf technology to display, not only pricing and nutritional information, but also farm-to-fork traceability of foods at point-of-purchase, and complementary healthy food marketing. Dynamic food pricing systems could be designed to not only align with consumer demand or competitor pricing, but to ensure healthy options are always the cheaper choice. And if we’re going to have intelligent robots conversing with customers in stores, let’s ensure they steer them towards healthy food choices – making a healthy shopping experience easier, more enjoyable and more convenient. The way we engage with the food sector will fundamentally change in the future. If we keep doing what we have always done, our current efforts to improve health through food may be undermined. We need to think forward to ensure the future of food is steered in a healthy direction.

Authors: Kathryn Backholer, Senior research fellow, Deakin University

Read more http://theconversation.com/we-must-ensure-new-food-retail-technologies-are-pathways-not-barriers-to-better-health-96204

INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

The Conversation

Politics

Closing the Gap Statement to Parliament

Mr Speaker, when we meet in this place, we are on Ngunnawal country. I give my thanks and pay my respects to our Ngunnawal elders, past, present and importantly emerging for our future. I honour...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Alan Jones

ALAN JONES: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Alan.    JONES: I was just thinking last night when we're going to talk to you today, you must feel as though you've ...

News Company - avatar News Company

Prime Minister Bridget McKenzie press conference

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon everybody. The good news is that the Qantas flight is on its way to Wuhan and I want to thank everybody for their cooperation, particularly the Chinese Government as...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Choosing the Right Coworking Space For Your Business

As the capital of Victoria in Australia, Melbourne is inhabited by millions of people and is known as one of the most liveable cities in the world. The latter is due to the city’s diverse community...

Sarah Williams - avatar Sarah Williams

What Should You Expect from A Carpentry Apprenticeship?

Those wanting to pursue a career in woodwork, whether it be to make furniture, construct buildings or repair existing wooden structures, will have to first commence a carpentry apprenticeship. This ...

News Company - avatar News Company

4 Tips To Choosing A Reliable SEO Company For Your Digital Marketing Agency

Working with a digital marketing agency Perth is the best bet in ensuring that your business is promoted well in the online space. If you are an app developer Perth, you may have to work closely wit...

News Company - avatar News Company

Travel

How to Be a Smart Frugal Traveller

You are looking through Instagram, watching story after story of your followers overseas at a beach in Santorini, walking through the piazza in Italy, and eating a baguette in front of the Eiffel ...

News Company - avatar News Company

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR GRADUATION TRIP

Graduation is the stage of life when a student receives the rewards of hard work of years. It must have taken sleepless nights and tiring days to achieve the task. Now, as you have received your cov...

News Company - avatar News Company

A Travel Guide for Vacations Overseas

There are two types of tourists. Of course, that's a sweeping generalization, and we could be talking about any possible part of traveling.  In this case, we're discussing those who stick to the ma...

News Company - avatar News Company

ShowPo