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US Online Grocery Snapshot: Q4 2021

Online grocery sales in the U.S. continue to grow, albeit at a smaller and often uneven pace. Forrester Research's report, "US Online Grocery Snapshot: Q4 2021," developed with IRI data, offers a new look with which manufacturers and retailers can update their marketing strategies for 2022 and beyond.

The report focuses on several important topics related to online grocery sales, including category growth in eight edible and non-edible categories looking back four quarters, trends in click-and collect and e-commerce sales growth, and the impact of inflation. Key findings:

  • Food as a percentage of e-commerce now stands at 37%, versus 26% pre-pandemic.
  • Online food sales have boosted Walmart and smaller grocers. Edible items tend to be purchased at Walmart and via click-and collect. Smaller grocers now capture 65% of all online edible perishable sales, up from 55% pre-pandemic.
  • In the majority of categories, most sales are still offline. All food categories have single- or low-double-digit of online sales and in three categories sales actually declined since their peak during the pandemic.
  • Click-and-collect continues to emerge as an e-commerce strategy. Forrester estimates 15% of online grocery sales are click-and-collect orders, up just two percentage points from Q4 2020.
  • Inflation is impacting consumer strategies. Prices have risen 6% over the past year, but 77% of shoppers stated they have noticed higher prices, and 37% stated they are buying more private-label brands.

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