Today’s online grocery list needs: bananas, check. Apples, check. Three steaks, check and a 6-pack of bathroom tissues, check.

There’s no question about it, 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.

And chances are you or someone you know used an online service to order groceries during the pandemic — and may very well be still doing this depending on where in the country you are located.

Not Alone

Rest assured, you’re not alone as reported by 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, although 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.

Good 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.

In today’s world of masks, store closures, and social distancing, it’s no wonder many consumers have resorted to buying their groceries as well as other staples online. Will you continue to shop online, too?

For more information, see The Future of Grocery: Online Grocery, Meal Kits, & Direct-to-Consumer Food report page. This report analyzes current online grocery sales, projects future sales, and examines trends across the U.S. online grocery shopping market, considering the current and longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This report also provides forecasts for online meal kit sales from retailers such as Kroger and meal kit delivery services such as HelloFresh.

Packaged Facts, a division of, 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.

Source: Packaged Facts