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11% of Britons shelve supermarkets for solely online grocery shopping

Published 14/04/2016

Online grocery sales are forecast to reach 9.8 billion pounds this year
Online grocery sales are forecast to reach 9.8 billion pounds this year

The days of going to the supermarket are over for a tenth of Britons as they turn solely to online grocery shopping and home delivery, figures show.

As many as half (48%) of Britons are currently online supermarket shoppers, while 11% now buy their groceries without visiting a bricks-and-mortar store at all, the study by analysts Mintel found.

Younger consumers are most likely to shun the supermarket trip, with 19% of 25 to 34-year-olds buying all their groceries online.

Online grocery sales are forecast to reach £9.8 billion this year and rise a further 73% to £15 billion by 2020, up from an estimated £8.6 billion last year, Mintel said.

Other than convenience, shoppers said a main reason for buying groceries online was to keep better track of their spending.

However a quarter of Britons (24%) have never bought groceries online and have no interest in doing so, rising to 38% of over 55s.

Mintel retail analyst Nick Carroll said the lack of control when selecting fresh food and drink products remained the biggest issue among those who do not shop online.

He said: "The majority of online shoppers still mix online shopping with store-based shopping, but consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable shopping at online-only retailers with growth outpacing the total market.

"The lack of control when selecting fresh food and drink products remains one of the biggest issues for online grocery retailing and not one that is easy to address. All of the major players now offer some form of freshness guarantee but this is still not a substitute for picking your own."

He added: "As we see Brits turning away from the main weekly shop and towards fluid, when-needed shopping, it is important for online grocery retailers to find a way to engage with these consumers."

:: Mintel surveyed 2,000 people aged 16 and over online in December.

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