CivicScience | There’s a Direct Correlation Between COVID-19 in the U.S. and New Online Grocery Adoption

General, Retail

There’s a Direct Correlation Between COVID-19 in the U.S. and New Online Grocery Adoption

Image Credit: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

CivicScience has reported on the overall shift of online grocery usage amid the COVID-19 crisis, namely in frequency of use. However, taking a step back and looking at the ongoing trend adoption question tracking grocery delivery, a jump in overall adoption due to the coronavirus is very evident. 

Just since the week of Feb. 23, we’re observing quite an increase among the general population of those who use or intend to use grocery delivery as a service, and a large downturn in those who are not interested in grocery delivery services. People are turning to grocery delivery now because of COVID-19 when they may not have done so pre-pandemic. However, as of this week, it looks like interest / intent has declined just 4 days in, while use has remained steady.

The question remains, will this be the new norm of grocery shopping in a post-COVID-19, post-social distancing world? Will adoption of grocery delivery and the ensuing convenience stick?

In just the past 4 days, the number of online grocery shoppers reporting they’re doing it more is at 40%, three percentage points more than last week’s (March 22-28) final reading of 37%.

This week we’re again observing high percentages of online grocery shoppers having issues with placing an order (36%). It won’t be a sustainable practice if placing an order is like pulling teeth or if wait time is days, if not weeks, away. Companies likely need to hire more workers and pay them more to keep them happy.

Just when you may have thought concern about being in public spaces couldn’t get any higher, well, it did. If you need an explainer on why people are turning to online grocery in increased amounts by the week, here’s why. As of this week’s to-date numbers, 60% of Americans are very concerned about being in public spaces, up from 54% last week.Checking in, those shopping online for groceries less now are the most likely to be at least somewhat concerned about being in public spaces. So even though online grocery shopping means you don’t have to venture out in some cases, any public touchpoint may be a deal-breaker.

Another trend to look out for is meal kits. 

In the past week, reported use has risen by three percentage points, but time will tell if the uptick gets larger.

CivicScience will be reporting on how grocery delivery develops on a weekly basis. 

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