The U.S. food and beverage industry has been impacted heavily by COVID-19. In 2020, more consumers than ever before were deciding to order food and beverage items online to avoid grocery shopping in crowded stores, where they might be exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
According to Packaged Facts‘ new report, “The Future of Grocery: Online Grocery, Meal Kits & Direct-to-Consumer Food,” the online grocery market nearly tripled in 2020.
Packaged Facts projects that online sales of food and beverages will decelerate over the next five years, though the pandemic boom in 2020 and 2021 will affect the market for years to come.
Online grocery shopping is largely driven by convenience, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Packaged Facts’ June 2021 National Online Consumer Survey finds 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 do 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.
Effects on Work Are Continuing in 2021 and Higher Among Those Buying Groceries Online More
June 2021 survey results also show that a majority of those surveyed experienced changes to their business travel and full-time telecommuting activity because of the coronavirus. However, at least some of those who say their patterns did not change had existing patterns that matched COVID habits (e.g., did not travel for work, worked from home at least part time).
Small minorities of consumers report their work patterns returning to normal, but many who have experienced change are continuing their COVID-19 work patterns. For instance, one-third of consumers report that working from home full-time increased because of the pandemic, while 10% of consumers experienced a change in working from home full-time but have now returned to pre-pandemic activities.
Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, the food and beverage market, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.