U.S. online grocery prices hit a five-year peak in September 2022, when they registered a 14.3% year-over-year increase, according to Adobe. In the U.S., the prices of grocery products available online have increased continuously, only lowering to nearly 13.7% as of last November, marking an unprecedented period of inflation.
Grocery is one of the e-commerce segments where consumers struggle the most with price hikes, Statista reported. Besides being at the top of the list of global consumers’ concerns, rising grocery prices affect the wallets of 60% of U.S. consumers.
When buying food, consumers also worry about ‘shrinkflation,’ a strategy retailers use to counteract the effects of inflation by shrinking package sizes. Shrinkflation is a common issue when shopping for edible products such as snacks, pantry items and frozen food, Statista reported.
Still, about 37% of consumers actually turn to online grocery shopping because they believe it’s less expensive than in-store shopping for them, according to survey data from Chicory. It’s not surprising that price has become increasingly important to online grocery shoppers, but not necessarily at a detriment to online grocery shopping which continues to be driven by consumers' need for convenience.
Price is the top consideration for 67% of respondents when selecting brands online, Chicory reported. But because online grocery shoppers can more easily compare prices, consumers often feel they can save money. Shoppers also are searching for and discovering deals online, making it a more affordable option for some.
In the U.S., food and beverage retail e-commerce revenue exceeded $38 billion in 2022 and is expected to surpass $47 billion by 2025. The online grocery customer base counts roughly 150 million U.S. shoppers, close to half of the country’s population, and is forecast to grow in the upcoming years.