Report: online grocery market nearly tripled in 2020

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ROCKVILLE, Md. — The online grocery market nearly tripled in size in 2020, according to a new report from Packaged Facts, which notes that the pandemic inspired more people to avoid crowded stores and order food and beverages online.

That shift will affect the market for a long time to come, Packaged Facts suggests, even it predicts that online sales of food and beverages will decelerate over the next five years.

The report — The Future of Grocery: Online Grocery, Meal Kits, & Direct-to-Consumer Food — indicated that the U.S. food and beverage industry has been impacted heavily by COVID-19.

Online grocery shopping is largely driven by convenience, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Packaged Facts’ June 2021 National Online Consumer Survey founds that online grocery shoppers most often report shopping for groceries online for convenience, with pandemic-related concerns that prevent consumers from shopping inside stores being the second most commonly selected reason.

Nonetheless, many consumers did identify the pandemic as the reason they have used online grocery shopping options for the first time or have increased their use of online grocery shopping. In Packaged Facts’ November-December 2020 survey, 35% of consumers reported using grocery store curbside pickup for the first time because of the coronavirus.

The report analyzes current online grocery sales, projects future sales, and examines trends across the U.S. online grocery shopping market, considering the current and longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and also provides forecasts for online meal kit sales from retailers such as Kroger and meal kit delivery services such as HelloFresh, Packaged Facts says.


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