eGrocery sales expected to double in Europe by 2030

03 April 2023 3 min. read

Pandemic disruptions has led to a dramatic increase in online grocery shopping and three years later there is no indication that shopping habits will revert to pre-Covid norms. Successful grocery businesses will need to offer hybrid physical and digital services if they want to remain competitive.

The eGrocery market share is expected to grow substantially in the coming years. By 2030, online grocery shopping sales could more than double, according to a report from consulting firm Strategy&, which studied the state of the sector in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Germany, and Turkey.

According to the report, eGrocery is expected to grow even further after 2030. Two decades on, eGrocery sales may account for 35% to 50% of all food shopping in Europe.

eGrocery market share projection by country in percentage of total food market for the years 2022 and 2030

Home delivery grocery shopping exploded in Europe at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdown measures in some countries and millions choosing voluntary isolation. Many food delivery services quickly got overwhelmed, with platforms across the continent implementing online queues and wait lists.

Since the near total easing of Covid restrictions across Europe, the demand for eGrocery services has declined somewhat, but certainly not disappeared. With e-commerce becoming the norm for retail and fast restaurant delivery services already ubiquitous in most major cities, consumers expect eGrocery services and will continue to want quick and convenient options.

Customer expectations 2022 vs. 2030

The Strategy& report featured a survey of consumers in several European countries. The respondents stressed that consumers currently expect quick and easy web shopping and flexibility to choose fulfillment options.

As far as outlook for shopping in 2030, they listed eco-friendly shopping and personalized offerings above other options. Advanced virtual reality offerings were also believed to be an option that would be seen more in the coming years.

Industry experts gave their thoughts on the changes most likely to be seen in the grocery market by 2030. The survey featured 57 experts in several European countries.

Business models prevailing in the long term

The majority believed that technology companies and traditional discounters were very likely to prevail over other more limited offerings, like purely online supermarkets.

In order for brick and mortar retailers to keep up, they must offer hybrid digital and physical services. Companies need to roll out online offerings as soon as possible in order to work out the kinks in new technologies and ultimately have a competitive edge.

“Retailers that wish to keep or grow their current market share by becoming leading omni-channel players need to launch eGrocery offerings early to gain the necessary expertise,” according to the Strategy& report.

Food retailers have experienced the crunch of inflation, particularly as the war in Ukraine has sent food prices skyrocketing and consumers are more likely than ever to pinch pennies. Food industry players will need to find a balance to keep prices low while also investing in digital and delivery options that will propel them forward.