Total UK online grocery sales fall 8.6% year-on-year in October 2021 ahead of Christmas period
Total UK online grocery sales fell 8.6% year-on-year in October 2021 as consumers opt to shop in-store ahead of Christmas. Visits to brick and mortar supermarkets increased by 6.5% in the four weeks to November 6th, equating to an additional 28 million more visits than the same time the year before. This is according to new NielsenIQ data reported by The Grocer.
While this represents quite a significant decline for the online grocery market, online share of sales only dipped slightly. It now accounts for 12.2% of all grocery sales, down from 12.6% in September. Nielsen puts this down to smaller basket sizes among shoppers as the need to stock up on food products has reduced. Threats of an imminent winter lockdown are also less prominent.
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There remains plenty of uptake in online grocery delivery methods, with the number of households shopping this way at least once a month declining just 3% year-on-year. However, many have also been tempted back in-store as evidenced by greater footfall and only a slight decline in till sales (2%) as data laps periods of very high demand in 2020. As a result, it is likely we will see consumers continue to adopt this hybrid approach to regular food shopping now that old and new habits align.
September 2021 UK online grocery sales at lowest since May 2020, while average basket size falls
UK online grocery sales fell to 12.2% of the total grocery market in September 2021, compared to 13% in the four weeks before, according to a report from The Guardian on recent research by Kantar. This marks online share at its lowest since May 2020 as even more consumers start travelling to brick-and-mortar stores to buy food.
The average household now spends £78.28 when checking out online, which is almost £17 less than what was recorded at the peak of the pandemic, reflecting a move to smaller, more frequent in-store grocery visits, mixed with eating out, rather than big weekly or fortnightly deliveries.