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COVID-19 to Accelerate Online Grocery Shopping Beyond 2021

19 May 2020

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LONDON, UK – E-commerce is the fastest-growing channel for global packaged food sales, recording a 21% growth in 2014-2019, according to global market research company Euromonitor International.

In its new whitepaper ‘COVID-19’s Effect on Packaged Food, Euromonitor looks at the impact of COVID-19 on home eating, snacks, dairy products and global supply chains, as well as the trends that will prevail beyond 2021.

“The packaged food industry is one of the few areas to experience a surge in demand as a direct result of the pandemic,” comments Tom Rees, food and nutrition industry manager at Euromonitor International. “However, restocking and maintaining the inflow of goods has become more difficult, tied to workforce issues, border closures and a general increase in demand.” As a result, some grocery retailers were forced to ration supplies, online and offline.

In addition, the government’s recommendation to buy online and home seclusion has pressured consumers to adopt online channels, and the response from producers quickly translated into optimising online services to reach a larger customer base – encompassing generations who may not have considered e-commerce as an option before.

Data from Euromonitor’s lifestyle survey in February 2020 shows that groceries were the most purchased category online, from consumers buying regularly online (around four to seven activities per week) to less active digital consumers.

Euromonitor forecasts that the customer base will grow by 2021 onwards but operators will need to improve consumers’ shopping experience to retain them.

The report is contributed by knowledge partner Euromonitor International.