Consumer research snapshot: U.S. grocery delivery trails India

India leads 21 other countries surveyed in grocery delivery — the U.S. ranks fifth slightly edging out China.
Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader
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U.S. household grocery delivery experienced a slowdown in order volume in August, as Retail Leader previously reported. Still, grocery delivery, including first- and third-party providers, amassed $3.5 billion in online grocery sales last month — basically flat for the same time period a year ago, according to Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Group Shopping Survey.

While total volume of e-commerce grocery orders placed during August 2023 grew 5% versus last year, delivery, the only method to post a decline in order volume, fell almost 5%. Pickup and ship-to-home jumped 9% and 10%, respectively compared to last year. 

Grocery delivery, which found momentum in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, has now become widespread in many developed and emerging countries. Yet, different economies have embraced grocery delivery at vastly different rates. 

India, where retailers had been experimenting with different delivery concepts even before the COVID-19 pandemic and offline grocery delivery also exists, is ahead of the 21 countries surveyed between July 2022 and June 2023, according to Statista Consumer Insights. The majority (60%) of Indian respondents said they were users of grocery delivery. Slightly more than half (52%) of those surveyed in Mexico as well as in South Korea said the same. The United Kingdom followed with nearly (49%) of consumers there using grocery delivery.

Only 39% of U.S. respondents said they were grocery delivery users, which edged out Chinese consumers who used grocery delivery (37%).

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The smallest population in the survey in relation to grocery delivery were located in Japan and Switzerland, where only 20% and 10%, respectively, said they were having groceries delivered.

In the U.S., food and beverage retail e-commerce revenue will exceed the $47 billion dollar threshold by 2025, according to Statista. The U.S. online grocery customer base counts roughly 150 million shoppers, close to half of the country’s population, and is forecast to grow further in the upcoming years.