In the grocery world, it comes down to neighborhoods.
But first, a few definitions. Local is any food product that is raised, produced, stored and distributed in the locality in which the final product is marketed. This includes direct-to-consumer sales and sales conducted by distributors and food hubs.
Hyperlocal is any food product that’s raised, produced, stored and distributed directly to a store based on the needs of that store, or a small group of stores. Typically, it’s a small geographical community or neighborhood. A hyperlocal approach builds a local ecosystem that relies on nearby farms or producers delivering their products directly to a store from less than 75 miles away. Based on customer needs, turnaround can be next-day or even same day delivery.
Why is hyperlocal a thing? In recent years, consumers have dramatically changed how they think about local products. They’re placing greater emphasis on health, keeping more money in locales and regions, and dealing with what seems like never-ending challenges with the national supply chain. That translates directly into demands for freshness, quality and sustainability.
What does hyperlocal mean for grocers?
Hyperlocal almost always means direct store delivery. With shorter distances traveled from producers to stores, restocking is faster and there’s considerably less waste. Last-minute changes or challenges usually are less hassle-bound.
Local products at stores are a trumpet call about community focus. It creates a bond of trust that stores know their customers and their communities. Local products typically have less price resistance because customers often view those purchases as an investment in their community, which is an investment in their own future. They know it reduces food miles traveled, supports sustainability, and builds economic opportunities with jobs.