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Doubling of Online Grocery Sales Helps Some Brands More Than Others

18 August 2020 - 09:03 by David Aiken

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Statistics published by Nielsen this week show that the UK’s online grocery market expanded by 117 per cent in the past quarter, with both Morrisons and Ocado managing to maximise their growth during the period of disruption caused by the pandemic.

While just 13.5 per cent of all food sales were carried out via safe shopping online in the last three months, this is still a significant uptick from previous years when bricks and mortar stores were comprehensively dominant.

Ocado was able to increase its market share by a larger proportion than any of its rivals, managing to encompass 1.8 per cent of sales and achieving 40 per cent growth compared with its own performance during the same period in 2019.

Morrisons, meanwhile, managed to increase its market share to 13.6 per cent and was cited as being the most successful of the UK’s four largest supermarket chains this quarter, even if smaller rivals like Iceland did manage to make more waves in terms of raw growth.

While millions of shoppers chose to order their food exclusively from the internet over the course of the national lockdown, there were still plenty of people willing to head to physical stores to bag bargains. Both Aldi and Lidl were able to boast sales growth of around 10 per cent apiece, in spite of the fact that they have almost no online presence.

Report spokesperson Mike Watkins became the latest industry observer to point out that consumer habits had been permanently changed because of COVID-19. New routines have been established, and more people have been introduced to the concept of ordering groceries online, to the extent that further sales growth is predicted going forwards in spite of the fact that this segment had started to stagnate prior to the pandemic.