Euromonitor International has released a new report that identified strong growth in grocery e-commerce sales in the U.S., defined as the world’s largest market for online sales of food and beverages. 

Online sales, though slowing, remains the leading source of future growth for groceries in the US. Food and beverages retail sales online amounted to $76 billion in 2022. This is a small portion of the $1.2 trillion in total retail sales of food and beverage products that occurred in the U.S. that year. 

Key insights of the report include:    

  • 26% of American adults are considered major online grocery shopping services users as of 2022, defined by at least weekly usage. 
  • Meals, dairy and processed meat and seafood are the leading categories driving the online grocery sales 
  • Online grocery will be the largest source of growth for food and beverages in the US in the coming years, adding nearly US$100 billion in sales by 2027. 
  • Computers, tablets and other devices are the purchasing medium for food and beverages that has shown the most growth between 2020-2023.  
  • Walmart and Amazon are struggling to control the overall US grocery market; the online segment is perhaps the most hotly contested area in this battle.  
  • Click-and-collect is experiencing short-term turbulence but long-term potential is strong 

“The challenges of operating in an inflationary environment have caused a short-term slowdown in the once-explosive growth of the American online grocery segment. Long-term prospects, however, remain bright given the time pressures consumers are under,” explains Matthew Barry, insight manager of Food & Beverages at Euromonitor International.  

Barry says that there is an existing battle between cost and convenience. “According to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey filled in 2023, 62% of Americans reported they were trying to find ways to simplify their lives, a figure exceeded by only one other group: the 75% who reported concern with the rising cost of everyday items. Americans want to save both time and money and are feeling torn as to which one they want to prioritize.”