Now that many months have passed, some trends in the Grocery industry have become apparent. Big box grocers such as Target and Walmart have had consistent and significant growth during the pandemic because they already had efficient ecommerce platforms, and they continued to enhance services with Walmart increasing curbside pickup locations and same day delivery and Target adding fresh and frozen groceries to their pick-up offering. According to consulting firm Brick Meets Click (BMC), June 2020 online shopping had risen to 45.6 million households compared to 13.1 million in 2019.
Grocers without an active ecommerce platform had to accommodate shoppers with more frequent sanitizing, social distancing markers, face mask, shields at the check-out counter and other requirements suggested or required by governing health administrations. Even after these precautions, many have had to develop or improve their online presence and add curbside pick-up and delivery. The good news for this industry has been the increase in demand for their products – generated in large part by consumers working from home and avoiding dining out. As a side note, many of the top brands in meal preparation and delivery like Hello Fresh and Nutrisystem have experienced skyrocketing sales as a result of people spending more time at home and less at restaurants. Taking advantage of this trend, several small businesses that offer meal prep and delivery are also seeing increased demand.
Rich Hollander is a retail expert with over 40 years in the industry.