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Online grocery market in Canada - statistics & facts

Although retail sales of supermarkets and grocery stores have steadily increased in Canada over the last few years, they accounted for less than three percent of the e-commerce market in 2021. However, the first outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic brought a shift in consumption habits and a significant increase in online sales of groceries, a trend observed in the whole of North America.

E-commerce giants outdoing national retailers

In Canada, Amazon and Walmart were the most popular online retailers of groceries, beverages, and meal kits. As a global marketplace, Amazon could offer a broader merchandise variety. Indeed, the sheer number of SKUs of packaged food offered by Amazon overshadows its competitors. In addition, the Canadian division of Walmart registered three-digit growth rates in e-commerce sales in 2021. In 2020, national grocery retailers like Loblaws, Sobey, or Metro did well in terms of total grocery sales, but their revenue growth from online channels is stabilizing, as quarterly data from retailer Metro suggests.

Bigger than pandemic fears

By the end of 2020, convenience was the main driver for online grocery shopping among Canadian consumers, who seemed less concerned by health risks related to the shopping experience, if compared to a few months before. Despite high satisfaction with experienced online grocery services, the mentioned pain points were multiple: out of stocks, shipment fees, and products’ assortment.

The pandemic hasn’t changed the general preferences of online shoppers, still eager to buy their groceries from traditional stores and have them delivered at home. In addition, surveys on purchase frequency indicated that slightly over one-third of Canadians would shop online once or twice a month. Compared to pre-pandemic times, they would purchase more often from large stores than from local independent stores.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Online grocery market in Canada".

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