Market Overview

Coronavirus Drives Surge In Online Grocery Penetration For Players Like Amazon Prime Now, Walmart

Coronavirus Drives Surge In Online Grocery Penetration For Players Like Amazon Prime Now, Walmart

Credit and debit card data compiled by BofA Securities suggests that online grocery spending trends remain "meaningfully elevated," even though total grocery spending moderated since the "stock-up" peak in March.

The Thesis

Although online grocery sales have been slowly moving higher over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth trends, Robert Ohmes commented in a Wednesday note.

Total online grocery sales as a percentage of total grocery sales rose to 11% on average from April 1 to April 23, the analyst said. 

"We think this supports NT share gains as well as LT benefits for online/omni-channel players of scale in the US as customers stick." 

Data from SensorTower supports similar trends, as total mobile grocery shopping app downloads in March rose 119% year-over-year to 5.1 million, he said.

The growth accelerated in April to 181% year-over-year, or 6 million app downloads, according to BofA. 

The five largest grocery shopping apps based on total downloads since 2012 belong to:

  • 1., Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime Now at 36 million downloads,
  • 2. Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) at 22 million downloads.
  • 3. Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) Grocery at 19 million.
  • 4. Instacart at 17 million.
  • 5. Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) Shipt at 4 million.

The top-performing apps in April were:

  • 1. Instacart, up 552% year-over-year.
  • 2. Shipt, up 314% year-over-year.
  • 3. Walmart Grocery, up 154% year-over-year.
  • 4. Kroger, up 115% year-over-year.

Of particular note, Amazon Prime Now trends were down 42%, although this could be due to customers ordering from Whole Foods or through the core Amazon Shopping app, which had 20% year-over-year download growth, Ohmes said. 

Related Links:

Expect 'Widespread' Near-Term Meat Shortages, Supply Chain Expert Says

A Look At Consumer Shopping Priorities During Coronavirus Pandemic

Courtesy photo. 

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