Scanning your veins to buy milk, having a stranger refill your fridge and supermarkets mining your phone. Food shopping is about to blow your mind.

Scanning your veins to buy the groceries, purchasing via your palm-print and watching shop displays change to match your search history could soon be the reality for shoppers all over the world, said

Or how about filtering your shopping list for calories, ordering an autonomous store to park up outside your house or having groceries unpacked at home within minutes?

The futuristic solutions are among those set to become mainstream in the next few years, according to IGD's Innovations and Trends Specialist Toby Pickard.


Speaking at the global analyst's Online and Digital summit in London, the grocery world's crystal ball gazer said the "race is on" for companies to find the fastest and most seamless way for people to shop.

"We're moving into this world. It's difficult, it's complex but there's huge opportunities," Mr Pickard told "If brands and retailers can get it right they can make that shopping experience really frictionless."

Mr Pickard said the vast array of digital innovations can be lumped into four "Ps" everyone is trying to crack: Potential, personalisation, path to purchase and pace of change. Huge interest in health and lifestyle is one area that has sparked a virtual race, allowing customers to filter their preferences more easily.

"Be it vegetarian, gluten free, you're trying to go on a diet or you're actually trying to put on weight and go on a high protein diet, your personalisation has been one key area where we're seeing online really innovating," he said.

UK supermarket Tesco has recently teamed up with nutrition company Spoon Guru to allow shoppers to filter their online lists for food intolerances.

Meanwhile, food delivery company Ocado features a website "calorie saver" feature, allowing users to see how much walking they will need to do to burn off one kind of food over another.

Mobile search history is also likely to play a huge role if Coke and Google have anything to do with it.

A recent San Francisco trial saw the two goliaths team up to mine a customer's phone data in order to deliver targeted ads on an end-of-aisle display.


Coke's global director of digital innovation, Greg Chambers, said it has already delivered a one-month return on investment and can be scaled into other environments.

"We can understand who the consumer is and get the right content and messaging to him or her at the right time," he said. "We're using the power of the cloud to bring a real-time, media-rich experience to shoppers in the store.


Come 2018, waiting three days for your new threads could also be a thing of the past with speed a "key battleground" for global giants.

"You're living in a world which is increasingly 'I want it now'," Mr Pickard said. "We're seeing that convenience is critical. That last mile of delivery is a bit of a battleground that we're seeing industry really competing in."

One-hour delivery slots are the new norm in urban centres like London, with click and collect points, drones and a crackdown on "porch pirates" designed to make it easier for people to pick up their goods.

Amazon's recent trial of their new "Go" technology allows people to walk out the door with their items scanned rather than going through a checkout. The company has also used "anticipatory ordering" to allow people to pick up within two minutes in a trial at University of California.

"We've even seen some retailers trying unattended home delivery," Mr Pickard said. "So you as a consumer could order your groceries online and they will get delivered to your house when you're not there and they will put your groceries into your kitchen on your behalf. Stock your shelves, stock your fridge freezer for you."

Other companies are dispensing with staff altogether, such as Wheelys - a brand that bills itself as the Uber of retail and has created a 24/7 convenience shop, which can drive itself to your house or back to a warehouse to restock, that is being tested in Sweden and China.

Biometrics is also being used to avoid having to remember passwords and log in to accounts. A Costcutter shop at Brunel University in the UK is already allowing people to pay with Fingopay - which scans the veins in people's fingertips after they have been mapped verified and linked to the bank accounts.

In Seoul, 7-Eleven has introduced a shop allowing people to use the veins in the palm of their hands without any barcodes, phones, cash or cards needed.

Sthaler chief executive and founder Nick Dryden - who is behind the Fingopay technology said it's already used in Poland, Turkey and Japan and provides the security and ease millennials expect.

"Fingopay offers the convenience and retail sector the opportunity to gain richer data, and a faster point of sale service," he said.