Fueled by COVID-19 and the resultant consumer buying behaviors, spending on grocery items increased last year. A lot more of that spending was done online, per a report from Kantar, which found e-commerce’s share of global grocery sales in 2020 increased by 45.5% over 2019.
The data, which covers 35 markets that represent two-thirds of the global population and 83% of its GDP, shows that e-commerce now accounts for 6.5% of global grocery sales. This is up from 2019 when it accounted for 4.9%.
E-commerce’s share of FMCG sales is highest in Mainland China, where it accounted for a full quarter of FMCG sales in 2020. Other research from eMarketer illustrates the overall preponderance of online shopping in China, showing that e-commerce’s share of total retail sales last year stood at about 45% and is expected to exceed 50% this year.
Sales of FMCG products online are also high in South Korea, where e-commerce accounts for 24.4% of total FMCG sales. This is compared to e-commerce’s share of FMCG sales in Taiwan (11.4%), Great Britain (11.4%), France (8.3%) and Japan (8.1%). Meanwhile, at 4.1% the US ranked 10th in online share of FMCG sales in 2020. It was, however, the fastest-growing market at 14% year-over-year, according to the report, outpacing regions such as Western Europe, Latam, Eastern Europe, and Asia.
On the whole, FMCG sales (excluding fresh food) grew by 9.9% year-over-year. FMCG sales in the Food sector increased by 11.4%, while Dairy (10.3%), Beverages (8.6%) and Homecare (9.8%) also saw sales growth over 2019. One FMCG sector that did not grow was Health & Beauty, which saw sales dip by 0.1%.
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