Channel Pulse: Online grocery benefits from increased capacity, whilst those shopping instore are more confident they can get what they need

Here we have our findings from week 7 (w/c 4 May 2020) of Channel Pulse - our weekly measure of consumer and shopper behaviour across all UK food and drink channels.

Online grocery increases as availability of slots improves

This week, grocery delivery has increased across all dayparts, most notably at breakfast (+3.8pp), but also at lunch (+1.6pp), dinner (+1.5pp) and snack (+0.4pp). Availability of online delivery slots has improved over the last couple of weeks, with Iceland announcing that they have increased capacity by 250% - primarily through the recruitment of additional in-store pickers and drivers. Using the same mechanics, Tesco has increased its capacity to more than one million online orders a week. Meanwhile, whilst Ocado has continued to suffer with capacity constraints, this hasn’t stopped its second quarter sales increasing by +40%.

More time – and people – for breakfast

Breakfast occasions have grown this week to the highest share recorded for this day-part so far (26.9%), an increase of 1.1pp vs. the previous week. With more than two-thirds of us working from home and children largely being home schooled, there are more mouths to feed at breakfast. The absence of the daily commute and school bells ringing means there is possibly more time in the morning to consume the most important meal of the day.

Greater confidence for shoppers that they’ll be able to buy what they need

We’ve seen the shopper need of confidence – “I knew they would have what I want” – increase this week, especially at dinner (+3pp) and the snack occasion (+3pp). This shows an increased level of confidence is returning for shoppers, knowing that stores are once again fully stocked following the early days of lockdown where empty shelves and stockpiling were prevalent.

Crystal ball – continued positive swing for supermarkets, c-stores and online

For the seventh consecutive week in a row, supermarkets, convenience stores and online supermarkets (in that order) are the top three channels that consumers say they will be visiting more in the next week. Discounters have maintained the momentum reported last week, with a strong positive swing also reported for this channel (+43%). Consumers also expect to use food delivery/takeaway and recipe boxes more in the coming week.


Insight reports featured in this article

UK Recovery Report 2020

Business implications for grocery and hospitality market stakeholders


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