Historically, 20% penetration has been a tipping point for industries to accelerate to online maturation—the point at which 70% of consumers are engaged in the online marketplace. For online grocery, the road to maturation has continued to shorten as consumers become increasingly digitally engaged.
In 2016, 23% of consumers purchased food or beverages, or both, online. Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) are conducting research to examine what food and beverage manufacturers and brick-and-mortar retailers need to ready themselves for the emerging digital grocery landscape. Initially, the research led to the prediction that consumer online food and beverage spend could reach $100 billion by 2025. Now, acquisitions, innovations and the pervasiveness of online engagement could cut that timeline by as much as half. In as few as five to seven years, 70% of consumers will be purchasing food and beverage goods online.
Our recent research revealed that consumers are past the tipping point of 20% adoption of online grocery shopping. In 2016, 23% of consumers purchased food or beverages or both online. We are now on an accelerated path to 70% penetration, which we expect to be achieved in five-seven years.