eCommerce to Account for 20% of US Grocery Market by 2026

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ByJulija A.
October 29,2021

According to a new Mercatus/Incisiv study, the e-commerce industry will account for 20% of the US grocery retail market in five years’ time. That’s several years earlier than pre-pandemic forecasts.

The study predicts that online sales will make up 9.5% of total US grocery sales of $1.097 trillion in 2021, which is a considerable growth compared to last year’s 8.1% of $1.137 trillion. The percentage is projected to grow further and reach 11.1% of overall grocery sales in 2022 before hitting 20.5% of $1.285 trillion in 2026. 

During pre-pandemic calculations, the online grocery industry was expected to account for 5.4% of the US grocery market in 2021 and then steadily grow to 6.8% in the following year, ending up at a modest 14.5% in 2026.

Among those surveyed in the latest study, 72% cited convenience as the number one reason for online grocery shopping. 45% said online shopping saved them time, while 28% pointed to COVID-related health concerns. 

However, as restrictions are relaxed and stores reopen, home deliveries are expected to decline.

“Home delivery is expected to shrink to lower than pre-pandemic levels as customers shift their preference to pick up,” Mercatus stated in a summary report of the survey. “Three-quarters of all online orders are expected to be fulfilled via stores, either in-store pickup or curbside pickup. Among suburban households, delivery adoption is 80% lower as compared to urban shoppers.”

The study released last week was initiated by the online grocery specialist Mercatus and conducted by the research firm Incisiv. While revealing the long-term impact of the pandemic on the behavior of grocery shoppers in the US, it also offered insight into the tendencies of e-commerce platforms and their trajectory. 

About the author

Julia A. is a writer at With experience in both finance and marketing industries, she enjoys staying up to date with the current economic affairs and writing opinion pieces on the state of small businesses in America. As an avid reader, she spends most of her time poring over history books, fantasy novels, and old classics. Tech, finance, and marketing are her passions, and she’s a frequent contributor at various small business blogs.

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