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UK leads Europe in embracing online grocery shopping

UK leads Europe in embracing online grocery shopping

More and more consumers in Europe are buying fresh food products online. Although many shoppers still tend to buy a lower volume online than they do-instore. The only exception seems to be the United Kingdom, where 42 percent buys more online than in-store and 32% percent buy less online.

This is one of the findings from a study conducted by Amcor, which wanted to investigate the changing landscape of fresh food shopping online. It surveyed 1,000 online grocery shoppers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Online grocery market is booming

The study was done before the coronavirus Covid-19 spread across Europe and the rest of the world, but even before the online grocery industry was booming. In Europe alone, the online grocery market is expected to grow by 66 percent by 2023. And globally, Nielsen forecasts that 70 percent of consumers will do their grocery shopping online by 2024.

Online grocery market in Europe is expected to grow 66% by 2023.

The study shows that consumers in the UK have a much stronger willingness to buy fresh food online. Most of them (69 percent) buy the same amount of food, or more, online than in-store. In other countries this share is only 30 percent. The most important reason for buying more online is convenience.

Another key finding is that six in ten Europeans like to see and test fresh produce before buying it. This desire is particularly strong among French shoppers (78 percent). And 77 percent of Germans like to buy produce from stores daily to avoid food waste.

Food subscriptions are popular in the Netherlands

In its study, Amcor also found that food subscriptions are getting more and more popular across Europe. Especially in the Netherlands, where Dutch shoppers subscribe to fruit and vegetables (36 percent), coffee (36 percent) and snacks (34 percent). In the rest of Europe, 26 percent of respondents in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands have used a meal kit subscription.

26% of Europeans used a meal kit subscription.

Over a third of respondents say packaging recyclability is very important to them when they shop for groceries online. Furthermore, 13 percent said packaging information was lacking online. Chris Fesen, marketing director Food at Amcor: “Many consumers are still concerned by freshness and food waste – in a brick-and-mortar store, shoppers can visibly check the freshness of produce, meat and dairy but this is more difficult with home delivery. Brands should opt for packaging that keeps food safe and fresh in transit and displays this freshness to re-assure customers.”

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