Top 10 grocery categories that need to focus on online growth

At a moment in history when we’ve seen grocery shopper behaviour and mindsets changing drastically week-to-week, online grocery is one trend that has accelerated beyond what any of us could have predicted.

Right now, the biggest challenge for retailers and suppliers is in the supply chain – keeping up with demand and getting essential items to people who need them the most. But what happens when our isolation period is over?

Retail spending is expected to eventually bounce back to pre-COVID levels, following a pattern similar to the aftermath of SARS, although recovery is likely to take longer. However, although overall spending is predicted to rebound, we can expect some more permanent changes in how shoppers are spending.

In FY19 Coles and Woolworths reported online revenues up >30%. But last month, both retailers experienced a massive increase in online orders, revealing their systems had even surged past actual delivery capacity.

Coles and Woolworths online growth

But retailers are quickly adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and, as more people shop for their groceries online and experience how easy and convenient it can be, more people will continue to do so in the future.

For suppliers, you may for the first time be having conversations about the online channel with your retail buyer. Grocery retailers are already planning for a future where online plays a larger role and our research tells us that, in some categories, suppliers should even be thinking online first.

Our new Online Grocery Shopper research shows that in some categories – health, beauty and baby – shoppers are three to four times more likely to buy online than instore. Breakfast and Health, along with Pantry, are also stronger online.

online grocery shoppers

Add this to the fact that family, health and wellbeing are becoming more and more important as we reconnect with the people and environment around us, it’s clear that leaders in these categories must focus on understanding the needs and mindsets of online shoppers or they’ll be missing an essential element from their strategic plans, now and in the future.

For a copy of our 2020 online grocery shopper report, contact us, or email  

Follow the Shopper Intelligence ANZ LinkedIn page for regular shopper updates from our experts.