Friday in 5 – interesting news bits from around the supply chain horn, served up in one spot to keep you up to date. This week: top 10 tech trends to watch in 2018, details about the Dr Pepper Snapple and Keurig merger, the impact of the revised tax code on U.S. manufacturers, the rapid shift to online grocery shopping and more.

Flying cars make list of tech trends for 2018

An interdisciplinary team of futurists, analysts and consultants in Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation Group recently came together to predict the Top 10 Tech Trends For 2018. The Forbes article explores which trends are predicted to have the biggest impact this year, as well as how well their team scored with their predictions for 2017. The trillion-dollar sprint, global natural disaster strategies and flying cars are a few of the trends anticipated in 2018.

Beverage merger to address consumer “need states”

There’s a new beverage giant in the making. In Dr Pepper Snapple merges with Keurig: Here’s the e-commerce, IoT, digital transformation plan, ZDNet looks at how the combined company will direct its focus on consumer “need states” instead of drinks. In addition to details about the merger, the article provides insights into Keurig Dr Pepper’s plans for data, e-commerce and IoT connectivity.

New tax rules and their impact on U.S. manufacturers

Automation and the modernization of U.S. factories are happening faster thanks to new tax rules. As The Wall Street Journal reports in Tax Incentive Puts More Robots on Factory Floors, manufacturers now have greater incentive to invest in machinery and boost productivity. The article looks at the impact of the revised tax code, and how U.S. manufacturers are responding.

The rapid shift to online grocery shopping

Buying groceries online could soon become the norm. According to CNBC, Grocery shoppers could move online twice as fast as originally anticipated. The article cites a joint report from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen, which predicts that within just five to seven years, 70 percent of shoppers will be buying some portion of their groceries online – a shift that could amount to $100 billion in total online grocery spending. The article looks out how some retailers are responding to the trend.

Investments in last-mile delivery robots

Amazon is setting its sights on delivery robots. Forbes’ article, Amazon Just Sparked A Race To Bring Robots To Our Doors, looks at the e-commerce giant’s recent patent application. The article explores how companies are trying to solve some of the problems around last-mile deliveries, and highlights companies leading the way in developing delivery robots.