Established retailers and successful newcomersSeveral large brands make up the leading companies in the U.S. online grocery market. Brands known by nearly every American such as Kroger, Walmart, HelloFresh, and Amazon are generating the highest net sales in the segment each year. While year-on-year growth is slowing, Kroger was forecast to generate nearly 15 billion U.S. dollars in e-commerce sales in the U.S. in 2022. In terms of brand awareness, however, Walmart takes the number one spot, with over nine in ten U.S. online grocery shoppers being aware of the popular grocery provider. Costco ranked second with almost eight in ten shoppers knowing about the brand.
Despite the blaring success of grocery retailers in the online sector, they face the growing competition of new players delivering meal kits and ready meals. The food service platform Instacart was the most visited groceries website in May 2022, accounting for over eight percent of web traffic. HelloFresh, another big meal kit delivery player, was also among leading grocery brands in the country.
How do U.S. shoppers buy groceries online?When asked what drives them to shop for their groceries online, saving time was the most popular response among U.S shoppers, while avoiding impulse purchases that typically happen while in-store shopping ranked as the second most popular response. Even though most consumers tend to spend an average of 50 to 100 U.S. dollars on their weekly grocery purchases, impulse buying still seems to be a trend among shoppers engaging in grocery e-commerce, whether that’s due to deals too good to miss out on or shoppers simply wanting to treat themselves.
Despite deals good enough to drive impulse purchases, regular spending on groceries online has been impacted heavily by inflation in the U.S. In 2022, online grocery prices reached unprecedented peaks, registering a year-over-year increase of over 14 percent in September of that year.