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Online Grocery Sales Enter Plateau


According to Brick Meets Click and partner Marcatus, online grocery sales in August attained $8.5 billion, down from $8.6 billion in August 2021.  Pickup from stores declined from $3.7 billion to $3.5 billion.  Delivery to homes increased from $2.9 billion to $3.5 billion.  Ship-to-home, using common carriers and parcel services, fell to $1.4 billion from an August 2021 value of $2.0 billion. The Census Bureau reported retail food and beverage sales to be $71 billion in August 2022 up 7.7 percent from August 2021.


Despite the evident plateau in total value and some changes within the three channels, the impact of COVID on online grocery sales is evident from the four-fold increase in total compared to August 2019.  In this pre-COVID month, total online grocery sales attained $2.0 billion with pickup amounting to $0.7 million, delivery $0.5 billion and ship-to-home $0.8 billion.


The similarity in value between August 2022 and August 2021 suggests that those who are using online services now represent a stable demographic and that, further expansion in online sales may be limited by cost.  Declining prices for gasoline and a desire to select value-priced items together with a general release from COVID restrictions will predicate more extensive in-person shopping.