Online Grocery Shopping a New Reality

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways shoppers fill their grocery needs. Throughout the pandemic, the Food Marketing Institute has been tracking consumer trends and charting how shopping behaviors are changing. While it’s uncertain how the trends will continue, the pandemic will permanently change consumer habits. Pre-coronavirus, FMI projected that online food and beverage sales would equate to $143 billion by 2025, representing about 18 percent of an expected overall $800 billion in combined online and in-store spending for food and beverages at home. However, since the pandemic, about 21 percent of Americans have tried online shopping for the first time, eight percent have returned, and 19 percent are continuing to online shop. FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin says, “Online grocery shopping is a new reality for our retail and wholesale members.” Research by FMI suggests that not everyone will continue ordering online at the levels they were during the height of the pandemic, but they are likely to continue using it more.