Top Trends in Online Grocery for CPG Brands to Consider this Year

Online Grocery

According to eMarketer, online grocery sales in the US will surpass $129 billion in sales by 2023. This means e-commerce will account for almost 10% of total grocery sales in America. These projections make it impossible for grocery and CPG brands to ignore e-commerce marketplaces. Whether they tap into Amazon, Walmart.com, Instacart, or another marketplace, traditional retail is no longer the only channel brands should leverage to compete and thrive. Continue reading to learn more about the top trends in online grocery to consider and apply to your brand’s strategy.

Marketing Strategies are Shifting

Usually, there’s a clear reason why a product or service is in demand. Strategic marketers tap into that reason and leverage it throughout their efforts. Before the pandemic, online grocery’s ‘reason’ was the preference for convenience and saving time. Most of these customers were young professionals in large cities. Now the need for online grocery has shifted to the desperation to remain safe during the spread of COVID-19. And the demographic has expanded in age range and geography. 

Grocery and CPG brands will need to consider this from an overall business standpoint and from a marketing perspective. Many of our clients in these categories had to reset and rebuild their supply chains and product offerings. They’ve also taken a step back and considered which marketplaces could position them to compete and reach customers in this new landscape. 

Shopping Windows Have Expanded 

As alluded to above, the average online grocery consumer’s needs and wants are changing. Part of this change includes their routines and schedules. Pre-pandemic, Sunday was one of the most popular days to purchase groceries for the week. But now, as people are working from home, any day of the week makes for a great day to buy or order groceries. 

This trend could affect a brand’s production schedule and supply chain. But, from a marketer’s point of view, this will be important to remember for advertising campaigns. Traditionally, it may have made sense to ramp up efforts leading into the weekend. Now, according to Instacart, 22% of Americans have shifted from weekends to weekdays to complete their shopping. That’s a significant figure to consider during the week to meet consumers in their new environment and lifestyle.

Shopping Behavior Has Become More Conscious and Intentional 

While we’ve focused primarily on the coronavirus as the driver of the trends mentioned in this blog post, it’s far from the only factor. Last year was dominated by massive events in addition to the pandemic. Whether it was natural disasters, social and political issues, or the election, humans were in a constant state of pausing to reflect. Now more than ever, shoppers are focusing on their purchase decisions to ensure they’re conscious and intentional. 

Many shoppers have made it a priority to support independent, female, and BIPOC-owned brands. Consumers aren’t the only ones behind this movement and mindset. Retailers and marketplaces have taken the initiative to be more inclusive and supportive. For example, in 2020, Instacart began working with more than 125 small and mid-sized brands. Brands should consider this in their business strategy to ensure they’re going above and beyond to appeal to purposeful consumers.

Final Thoughts 

These three are a few of many big-picture trends forming within the online grocery space. Our clients have found those listed in this post to be some of the strongest and most applicable. They will be crucial in their current and future strategies and we expect new trends to begin taking shape throughout 2021.

If you could use the support of a strategic partner, schedule a free consultation. And, as an official Amazon Advertising partner, we’re here to answer any questions about your efforts. Finally, should you be interested in learning more about our clients’ results, explore advertising-related case studies on our website. 

In the meantime, consider downloading one of the following guides to help steer your brand’s next steps. 

[GUIDE] Advertising on Instacart: The Basics

[GUIDE] Advertising on Walmart.com: Sponsored Products

Hannah West Dalpiaz

Hannah West Dalpiaz