Online grocery sales in the US have more than tripled between 2013 and 2018 and are set to quadruple between 2018 and 2023, according to a report by research agency Packaged Facts.
According to the report, growth in the market has accelerated since Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017, as retailers such as Walmart have raced to compete with Amazon in the online grocery space.
Over the last year, Walmart has acquired grocery delivery app Cornershop for $225 million, expanded the service areas of its Jet delivery service and partnered with Japanese retailer Rakuten to launch a new online grocery delivery service in the country.
Amazon and Walmart are currently the key players in the market, and together the companies account for nearly 28% of US online grocery sales.
Retailers and grocery delivery services such as Instacart, Kroger, FreshDirect, and Peapod are also identified as major participants in the online grocery space.
The report claims that increased smartphone usage by consumers, better website and mobile interfaces, and the expansion of the crowdsourced business models has accelerated the expansion of the market.
David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts said: “Three key factors have created a perfect environment for the growth of the online grocery market in the US over the last five years.
“There’s been increased use of mobile phones and smartphones, interfaces for websites and mobile apps have improved, and there’s been a notable expansion of crowdsourced business models to shopping and delivery.”
Most of the market’s growth has actually occurred since 2016, as e-commerce platforms and conventional grocery stores expanded their service areas, and the report cited Instacart’s partnership with Aldi as a key example of this rapid expansion.
Instacart partnered with Aldi in August 2017 to deliver groceries in three cities, and by September 2018 the company announced the partnership would expand to all of its stores in the US.
Instacart is now valued at $7.6 billion after raising an additional $600 million in a funding found, and the company says the additional funds will allow it to expand further in North America.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019