Future of Grocery - Market Research, Industry Trends, Market Share, Consumer Insights


Published: 07/14/2021
Pages: 255
Full Study Price: US$ 4,500

The future of grocery delivery is increasingly digital. Consumers are looking for convenience in how they get and prepare their food. Digital grocery shopping options facilitate:

  • online ordering on your own time (even outside of store business hours)
  • home delivery or appointments for curbside pickup
  • access to foods not available locally, including specialty types or foods to suit particular eating habits or allergy limitations
  • assistance with meal planning, as platforms suggest combinations and recipes
  • assistance with meal preparation, as some formats supply precooked, premeasured, or otherwise semi-prepared meal elements

In this way, online grocery shopping and meal kits increasingly have more elements in common.

  • Both are meant as ways to limit time in store and limit consumer time spent thinking about their food needs. For instance, meal kits companies have traditionally been the venue for consumers seeking assistance with meal planning, but online grocery platforms increasingly use artificial intelligence to assist customers with creating their shopping lists and meal planning, based on past purchases and preferences of similar consumers.
  • Both types of services help save money in that they tend to reduce impulse shopping and food waste as consumers are taking time to plan purchases or full meal selections ahead of finalizing an order.
  • Both are benefitting from consumers’ increasing willingness to outsource individual food selection, allowing pickers to select the ripeness, quality, and precise size of fresh produce and fresh meat, poultry, and seafood.

Featuring fresh insights and in-depth data, The Future of Grocery: Online Grocery, Meal Kits, & Direct-to-Consumer Food explores consumer trends, behavior, and motivations to help companies and investors in this space understand consumer perspectives and identify opportunities for growth.

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Table Of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • The Future of Grocery Delivery
    • Online Grocery Shopping Driven by Convenience
    • Expansion of Online Grocery Shopping Led by Third-Party Player Instacart
    • COVID-19 and Beyond
    • Opportunities for Growth
    • Key Consumer Trends
    • Scope
  • COVID-19 Impacts on Consumers
    • Highlights
    • First Time Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods In 2020
      • Table Coronavirus Food Purchase Habits: "Because of the coronavirus, I have for the first time used…", 2020 (percent of consumers)
    • Increasing Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods Continuing Through 2021
      • Table Coronavirus Food Purchase Habits: "Because of the coronavirus, I am…", 2020-2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Many Consumers Continue to Have Changed Behavior, While Some Are Returning to a Pre-COVID Normal
    • Consumer Concerns About Food Safety and Waste Are Rising in the Wake of the Pandemic
      • Table Coronavirus Concerns about Safety and Food Waste: "Because of the coronavirus, I am…", 2020 (percent of consumers)
    • Consumers Who Are Buying More Groceries Online and Using More Grocery Pickup or Delivery Services Express Greater Concerns about the Coronavirus
      • Table Coronavirus Health Concerns: "I am concerned about the…", 2020-2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Coronavirus Health Concerns: "I am concerned about the…", February-March 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Coronavirus Health Concerns: "I am concerned about the…", June 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Consumers Who Report Using Online Grocery Ordering More Are Experiencing More Negative Personal Effects of the Pandemic
      • Table Coronavirus Concerns: "The coronavirus has negatively affected my…", 2020-2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Coronavirus Concerns: "The coronavirus has negatively affected my…", February-March 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Coronavirus Concerns: "The coronavirus has negatively affected my…", February-March 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Effects on Work Are Continuing in 2021 and Higher Among Those Buying Groceries Online More
      • Table Coronavirus Concerns: "Because of the coronavirus, I…", 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Changes to Eating Habits
      • Table Coronavirus Eating Habits: "Because of the coronavirus, I am eating more…", 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Shopping Patterns Are Shifting, With Many Consumers Cutting Back on Spending and Shopping Less Inside Stores
      • Table Coronavirus Food Purchase Habits: "Because of the coronavirus, I am…", 2021 (percent of consumers)
  • Overview and Market Trends
    • Highlights
    • The COVID-19 Pandemic Was the Jumpstart the Online Grocery Market Needed
    • Convenience the Ultimate Selling Point for Busy Consumers
    • U.S. Online Grocery Shopping Well Behind Other Countries, but There Are Opportunities for Expansion and Continued Household Adoption
    • Direct Sellers and Home Delivery Companies
      • DTC Companies Tackling Niche Health Food Markets with Meal Kits, Prepared Meals, and Online Grocery
        • Table Selected Meal, Meal Kit, and Grocery Delivery Services by Date Founded, Services Offered, and Geographic Area Served
      • New Companies and Products with Niche Appeal May Choose DTC Channels
      • Subscriptions Save Consumers Money and Boost Sales
      • Private Labels
        • Table Selected Online Private Label Grocery Brands
      • Imperfect or "Ugly" Produce Has Become an Attractive Option for Consumers, but Food Waste Claims Are Being Re-Examined
    • Brick and Mortar Stores Expanding and Promoting E-Commerce Options
      • Retail Stores Rely More On Impulse Purchases
      • Private Label Products Are a Driver of In-Store Traffic, Online Sales, and Retailer Loyalty
        • Table Selected Private Label Grocery Brands Available Via Online Ordering
      • Launching Online Grocery Shopping Via Third-Party Delivery Companies
      • Expanding Direct Grocery Store Ordering Options
      • "Dark Stores" or Grocery Fulfillment Centers Can Increase Operational Efficiency
      • Third-Party Ordering Platforms Make Offering Online Groceries Possible for Independents
        • Table Selected Online Grocery Platform Providers
      • Continuing Challenges to Online Grocery Services Satisfying Consumer Desires
      • Pickup Can Solve the Last-Mile Problem
    • Meal Kit Delivery Services
      • Celebrity Endorsements Used as a Marketing Tactic
      • Meal Kit Options Targeted at Specific Demographics and Diets
      • Increasingly Offering Prepared Ingredients to Save Time and Reduce Mess
      • Meal Kits Are Not Just a Product – The Service is Also Like a Home Cooking Class
      • Offering Meal Kits Without a Subscription/Via Stores
      • Customization of Meals and Varying Levels of Preparation Required
      • Lower Price Meal Kits for Price-Sensitive Consumers
    • Meal Delivery Services
      • Convenient Meal Delivery Services Emphasizing Freshness and Healthy Foods
      • Targeting Specialized Demographics
      • Local and Regional Meal Delivery Companies Are Emphasizing Local Ingredients and Compete with National Providers
      • Customized Meal Delivery Catering to Special Diets and Weight Loss Plans
    • Community Supported Agriculture and Farmers' Markets
      • Creating Online Marketplaces and Collaborating with Local Producers
      • CSAs Joining the Meal Kit Market Through Partnerships or New Product Offerings
  • Market Size, Forecasts, and Historical Trends
    • Highlights
    • Scope
    • Historical Online Grocery Market
      • Table U.S. Online Grocery Sales, 2015-2020 (billion dollars)
      • Share of the Market by Fulfillment Type
      • Share of the Market by Retailer Category
      • Share of the Market by Product Category
    • Online Grocery Forecast
      • Table U.S. Online Grocery Sales, 2020-2025P (billion dollars)
    • Meal Kit Forecast
      • Table U.S. Meal Kit Delivery Service Sales, 2019-2020, 2021-2025P (million dollars)
  • Use of Food Ordering Methods and Online Food Purchases
    • Highlights
    • Use of Food Delivery and Pickup Options
      • Table Use of Food Delivery and Pickup Options in the Last 12 Months, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Strong Overlap Between Services
        • Table Strong Overlap in Use of Food Delivery and Pickup Options in the Last 12 Months, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Most Online Grocery Shoppers Reveal Buying Food Online At Least Once Per Month
        • Table Frequency of Use of Food Delivery and Pickup Options in the Last 3 Months, 2021 (percent of consumers who used these services in the last 12 months)
    • Use of Meal Kits and Prepared Meals from Retailers
      • Table Use of Meal Kits or Prepared Meals from Retailers in the Last 12 Months, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Frequency of Use
        • Table Frequency of Use of Meal Kits or Prepared Meals from Retailers in the Last 3 Months, 2021 (percent of consumers who used these products in the last 12 months)
    • Frequency of Using Convenient Food and Food Ordering Methods
      • Table Frequency of Using Convenient Foods and Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months, 2020 (percent of consumers)
    • Use of Online Grocery Ordering/Delivery Services
      • Table Online Grocery Ordering/Delivery Services Used, 2020 (percent of consumers)
    • Online Purchases of Alcoholic Beverages
      • Table Alcoholic Beverages Bought Online, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Use of Meal Kit Delivery Services
      • Table Use of Meal Kit Delivery Services, 2020 (percent of consumers)
  • Growth Opportunities
    • Highlights
    • Targeting Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation, Who Are Less Likely to Shop Online
      • Meal Kits and Prepared Meals for Older Consumers
    • Expansion of Meal Delivery Options for Children and Families
    • Appealing to Customers Trying to Resist Impulse Buys
    • Further Acceptance of the Outsourcing of Individual Item Selection
    • Label Readers Can Get Additional Product Information Online
    • AI-Powered Voice Technology for Increased Convenience
    • VR and AR Shopping Experiences
    • Micro-Fulfillment Can Boost Profits and Delivery Speeds
    • Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Fulfillment Automation
    • Delivery Via Drones or Automated Vehicles
    • Creating a Seamless Omnichannel Experience
    • Target Special Occasions to Interest Infrequent Customers
    • Offering Expiring/Clearance Items for Sale Online
  • Online Grocery, Meal Kit, and Meal Delivery Service Providers
    • Highlights
    • Mergers & Acquisitions
      • Table Selected Online Grocery Mergers & Acquisitions, 2020–2021
    • Venture Capital Stimulating Startups
      • Table Selected Investment in Online Grocery and Related Companies, 2018–2021 (dollars in millions)
    • Online Grocery Market Share
      • Instacart
      • Walmart
      • Amazon
      • Kroger
      • Ahold Delhaize
      • Target
      • FreshDirect
    • Meal Kit Delivery Services Market Share
      • HelloFresh
      • Home Chef
      • Sunbasket
    • Competing Products and Services
      • Home Chef Services Compete with the Meal Kit and Meal Delivery Concept
      • Restaurant Delivery from Third Parties
  • Consumer Demographics
    • Highlights
    • Trends by Gender
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by Gender, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Gender, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Online Food Ordering Methods More Due to the Coronavirus by Gender, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Trends by Age Bracket
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by Age Bracket, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Age Bracket, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Online Food Ordering Methods More Due to the Coronavirus by Age Bracket, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Patterns Based on Household Income
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by Household Income Bracket, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Household Income Bracket, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Online Food Ordering Methods More Due to the Coronavirus by Household Income Bracket, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Regional Differences
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by U.S. Region, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by U.S. Region, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Online Food Ordering Methods More Due to the Coronavirus by U.S. Region, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Urban, Suburban, and Rural Consumers
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by County Size, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Urban, Suburban, or Rural Living, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Online Food Ordering Methods More Due to the Coronavirus by Urban, Suburban, or Rural Living, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Educational Attainment
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by Educational Attainment, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Educational Attainment, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Online Food Ordering Methods More Due to the Coronavirus by Educational Attainment, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Presence of Children in the Household
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by Educational Attainment, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Presence of Children in HH, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Online Food Ordering Methods More Due to the Coronavirus by Presence of Children in HH, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Race/Ethnicity
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by Race/Ethnicity, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Race/Ethnicity, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Online Food Ordering Methods More Due to the Coronavirus by Race/Ethnicity, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Plant-Forward Consumers
      • Table Use of Online Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services by Primary Diet/Eating Philosophy, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Primary Diet/Eating Philosophy, 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Frequent Use of Convenient Foods and Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Primary Diet/Eating Philosophy, 2020 (percent of consumers)
  • Consumer Psychographics
    • Highlights
    • Strong Overlap with Clean Label Ideals
      • Table Frequent Use of Convenient Foods and Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Frequency of Adhering to a Clean Label Diet, 2020 (percent of consumers)
      • Table Use of Convenient Food Ordering Methods in the Past 12 Months by Clean Label Preferences, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Food Attitudes
      • Table Consumer Food Attitudes and Behaviors, 2020 (percent of consumers who agree completely)
    • Health Attitudes
      • Table Consumer Health Attitudes and Behaviors, 2020 (percent of consumers who agree strongly)
    • Opinions on Nutrition and Foods
      • Table Consumer Opinions on Nutrition and Food Healthfulness, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Willingness to Pay More for Convenient Food Delivery or Premium Foods
      • Table Willingness to Pay More for Convenient Food Delivery or Premium Foods, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Special Diets/Eating Restrictions/Food Preferences
      • Table Following Special Diets/Eating Restrictions/Food Preferences Always, Almost Always, or Usually, 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Reasons for Consumers Ordering Groceries or Meal Kits Online
      • Table "Why do you order groceries online for pickup or delivery?", 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table "Why do you have fresh ingredient meal kits delivered?", 2021 (percent of consumers)
    • Why Do So Many Online Shoppers Not Shop for Groceries or Meal Kits Online?
      • Table "Why do you not have food or beverage groceries delivered?", 2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Table "Why do you not have meal kits delivered?", 2021 (percent of consumers)
  • Packaging Trends
    • Highlights
    • The Balance Between Effective, Sustainable, and Low-Cost Packaging
    • Targeting Excessive Packaging for Reduction and Elimination
    • Protective Packaging Is Important For Product Integrity
    • A Shift from Expensive Set-Up Boxes to Other Paper Packaging
    • Reusable Packaging
    • Opportunities for Biodegradable and Compostable Packaging
    • Consumers Who Are Buying Groceries Online, Using Curbside Pickup, or Using 3rd Party or Grocery Store Delivery Services More Show Greater Concern About Packaging Waste and Sustainability
      • Recycling and Household Waste
        • Table Consumer Opinions on Recycling and Household Waste, 2021 (percent of consumers who strongly agree)
      • Proper Disposal of Products
        • Table Consumer Opinions on Taking Responsibility for Proper Disposal of Products, 2021 (percent of consumers who strongly agree)
      • Opinions on Packaging Materials
        • Table Consumer Opinions on Packaging Materials, 2021 (percent of consumers who strongly agree)
      • Types of Packaging Consumers Look for
        • Table "Do you especially look for any of the following in terms of "sustainability" or "eco-friendly" packaging?", 2021 (percent of consumers)