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E-commerce is contributing the lion’s share of growth in the FMCG market, according to a new report [download page] from Nielsen. In fact, online channels have fueled 89% of FMCG sales increases in the past year. So how influential is e-commerce in FMCG?

Based on its analysis spanning the 52-week period ending in April 29, 2017, Nielsen determined that e-commerce’s share of dollar sales is greatest in the beauty care (28%) and pet care (27%) categories.

While the online channel has yet to make major inroads in several categories such as frozen foods (1%), beer and wine (1%), and packaged grocery (3%), it already accounts for at least one-tenth of sales in household care (10%), personal care (12%) and health care (14%).

(Enlarge the above chart for the full list.)

Overall, online accounts for 8% dollar share of FMCG sales, according to a separate estimate included in the report.

E-Commerce Accounts for 80% of Grocery’s Growth

Although e-commerce penetration is largest in personal care, its velocity appears to be greater in pet care.

Looking at various FMCG categories, Nielsen reports that e-commerce dollar growth for pet care totaled $3.4 billion, compared to $317 million for brick-and-mortar growth. As such, e-commerce’s share of growth in this area exceeds 90%.

The online channel is also fueling strong growth in grocery: e-commerce accounts for roughly 80% of grocery dollar sales increases ($2.4 billion in e-commerce growth versus $619 million in brick-and-mortar growth).

Meanwhile, e-commerce is contributing all of the growth in the beauty segment: whereas brick-and-mortar sales have actually declined by $168 million over the past year, e-commerce sales have grown by $1.6 billion.

Brick-and-mortar dollar sales growth is only outpacing e-commerce dollar growth in the health care segment.

3 Other Fascinating Stats

Nielsen’s report – which is certainly worth reading – contains 3 other noteworthy statistics, which follow.

  • Shoppers are actually visiting some stores more frequently: over the past year, the number of trips per household grew by 2.3% for supercenters and by 2.9% for value groceries, with conventional grocery stores also seeing a 0.5% increase.
  • Online FMCG shoppers spend an average of $40 per trip. That’s higher than the $34 average across channels, though it trails the leading channels, warehouse clubs ($70) and supercenters ($47).
  • In 2016, for the first time, more money was spent on food away from home (50.2%) than at home (49.8%). (Nielsen cites USDA Food Expenditure data rather than its own data in this case.)

The full study is available for download here.

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