The online grocery crazeOne of the most visible shifts in U.S. consumer demand and behavior after the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen in regard to grocery shopping. Since April 2020, grocery delivery and pick up sales remained well above five billion dollars per month. Particularly among older generations, consumers seemed keen on buying groceries online in the future, as they did during the pandemic.
Food delivery: a tale of two sidesNot only the amount and type of food that U.S. customers buy and sometimes stockpile has shifted, but also the preferred avenues. Around one-third of surveyed shoppers indicate a willingness to keep using Amazon Fresh or DoorDash to have food home delivered. Other widely chosen options include local grocery stores, chain restaurants, and online grocery sites. In return, app downloads of online grocery delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Instacart are surging.
But while these services offer customers a safe and flexible alternative to jammed grocery stores or restaurants, companies like Instacart also face criticism for their treatment of delivery workers. As couriers are hired as gig workers instead of employees, they do not receive sick pay or other health benefits. Seeing that these contractors have worked on the frontlines of the pandemic, their lack of financial and physical protection remains an ongoing point of contention.