Even though food and beverage has traditionally been a product category with low digital penetration in the US—we peg the category's share at 2.8% of all retail ecommerce sales in 2018—online sales are steadily picking up steam.
It's not wholly clear if the growth is being driven by more consumers adopting digital buying overall to the benefit of online groceries, or if it's a result of heavy retailer investment and providing more options for shoppers.
KPMG recently published a study showing that close to half (48%) of US grocery shoppers currently purchase at least some of their groceries online and 59% intend to in 2019. Those who plan to do 40% or more of their grocery shopping online make up the fastest-growing segment—from 17% in 2018 to 25% in 2019.
At the Groceryshop conference, IGD revealed new data on the 10 largest online grocery markets worldwide. By market size, the US came in at No. 3 with $23.9 billion in 2018, behind China and Japan. That is set to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 20.0% to $59.5 billion by 2023.
Online grocery channel share will double from 1.6% to 3.5% in that timeframe, which is still relatively low compared with markets in Asia. This growth is being driven by an increase in grocery-related omnichannel offerings, like pickup points in-store, drive-thrus and kiosks, plus the rise of meal kits and third-party delivery services like Instacart and Shipt.