The Valley Group

Walk with us: Food & Drink Retail Insight Report

March 5, 2024

← Walk with us: Food & Drink Retail Insight Report


As we explore the Food and Drink retail landscape across the world, our Retail Walk’s give us first hand insight and visibility of what’s happening in retail, along with our conversations with the industry leaders who attend. In this report we take a look at exciting new retail concepts in Food & Drink, emerging trends, and how grocery is returning to nostalia to better serve its local community.

Borough Market is London’s oldest market, with a rich history spanning over 1000 years, it went through a remarkable reinvention in the 90’s from declining fruit and veg wholesaler, to the world class food destination it is today. Drawing an impressive 25 million visitors annually, the market hosts over 100 specialist traders, offering a vibrant array of culinary delights.

Beyond its bustling stalls, Borough Market serves a vital role in community welfare. Through partnerships with 20 charities, it redistributes surplus food, preventing 90 tonnes from going to waste each year, as well as supporting children through education and its commitment to minimising environmental impact.

Food markets offer an accessible entry point for new brands to test and refine their products, making them a great place to spot emerging trends. We are seeing savvy retailers, such as Aldi, launching pop up concepts close to markets, capitalising on high footfall to leverage exposure, whilst offering new audiences the chance to sample thier products.

Giddy Grocer

Giddy Grocer blends nostalgic charm with a contemporary sustainable ethos. Their focus lies in sourcing quality foods, predominantly from artisan British producers, while serving the community by transforming grocery shopping into an inviting and personalised experience.

Complementing the store is the ‘Giddy Kitchen’, where chefs creatively re-purpose food nearing its shelf life into delicious dishes and lunches for its takeaway counters. Whether it’s crafting soup from a bruised squash or baking pies with excess apples, their commitment has ensured food waste is near zero.

Drawing inspiration from traditional grocers, we are seeing more of a nostalgic approach to grocery with the likes of M&S’s new concept stores, embracing classic elements such as wicker baskets in chiller sections and at aisle ends, fostering a warm and welcoming ambiance for shoppers. We love the handwritten chalk board signs ‘Back in stock soon’ along with the vegetable washing area, with potatoes and root vegetables displayed in sacks on the floor. This combination of nostalgic retail along with top notch customer service puts physical retailing in the hearts of the community it serves.