UK Online Grocery Sales To Grow 40% In 2020
Nearly half of all UK shoppers are buying more groceries online due to the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, UK online grocery sales grew 22% in 2019 and, propelled by high demand from nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns, stand to surge about 40% this year, according to an online grocery survey.
In that survey, 52% of the consumers polled had purchased groceries online in the past 12 months. That is more than double the number of shoppers from two years ago and e-commerce accounted for roughly 2.6% of UK food and beverage retail sales in 2019. Industry experts say that figure could grow to 3.5% by the end of this year. When the stockpiling of groceries was in full swing across the UK as the spread of coronavirus escalated, online grocery sales increased drastically as many local grocery stores began to run out of food.
One industry expert stated, “The coronavirus outbreak has prompted shoppers to buy food online in greater numbers and more frequently. By mid-March, the outbreak had already encouraged just under half of online grocery shoppers to buy more groceries online or driven them to start buying online. This year’s survey results saw a big increase in expectations to buy groceries online in the coming 12 months, and we suspect much of that is due to the impact of the coronavirus.”
Why Are People Shopping Online For Food?
When polled, UK consumers had many different reasons for choosing to continue shopping online for food and other cooking essentials including spices. Of online purchasers, 34.9% said they’re buying more groceries because of coronavirus, and 14.4% said they started shopping online for groceries due to the pandemic. Another 10.5% indicated they’re buying groceries online less amid the outbreak, and 40.2% said the crisis hasn’t impacted their online grocery shopping.
What Food Essentials Are People Buying Online During The COVID-19 Crisis?
Some of the most popular online purchases include packaged non-fresh food, toiletries, personal care and diapers, household cleaning and paper products, frozen food (41.9%), bread and baked goods (41.7%), fresh fruit and vegetables (39.1%), fresh dairy, meat, fish and eggs (38.9%), cold non-alcoholic beverages excluding coffee, tea or cocoa (30.7%), chilled prepared foods (26.4%) and alcoholic beverages (12.5%).
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