For many years, consumers made food-purchasing decisions based on a set of traditional drivers that include taste, price, and convenience. While a limited group of consumers also considered a set of evolving drivers that include safety, health and wellness, social impact, experience, and transparency, this group did not represent a significant portion of business for most major food suppliers.

Not anymore.

Deloitte recently published new research indicating that 51% of consumers now consider both traditional and evolving drivers when purchasing food. Not only is the segment that considers evolving drivers significantly larger than originally believed by many executives surveyed by Deloitte, but it also comprises a wide swath of society: consumers who shop with evolving drivers in mind do so regardless of geographical region, socioeconomic demographic, and age group.

Though evolving drivers may be complex, one thing is clear: consumers increasingly demand fresh food free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Companies that want to meet this demand must be able to process fresh food more quickly, and that means ensuring that warehouse systems can operate efficiently enough to deliver fresh food before it spoils.

Fortunately, Voxware’s Voice Management Suite can help companies improve efficiency throughout the supply chain to deliver fresh food to customers more quickly. In fact, many of our customers have deployed Voxware for exactly this purpose. Whole Foods Marketsimplemented voice and improved efficiency in its main distribution center by 30%before deciding to implement voice throughout its network of 10 facilities. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma implemented voice and soon doubled both its pick rate and its total volume, which enabled the non-profit to get more fresh food to its patrons quickly.

As consumers continue to demand food be free of preservatives and artificial ingredients, smart food retailers will upgrade supply chain systems with voice. Companies that fail to upgrade warehouse systems with modern technology risk losing customers who demand fresh food.