Waitrose says “things will never be the same” as 25% of shoppers buy groceries online for first time

Waitrose & Partners says that a quarter of the shoppers who purchased groceries online with it did so for the first time ever this year.

According to Waitrose latest annual Food and Drink Report, the way Brits shop will “never be the same again” after a year of fundamental change.

Its data suggests that 70 per cent of shoppers will continue to shop for groceries online after the pandemic is over, with 25 per cent shopping with Waitrose online for the first time this year and a further 39 per cent shopping with providers like Deliveroo for the first time.

The grocer has responded to this sharp rise in online orders by quadrupling its delivery slots to 200,000 a week throughout 2020, seeing its online grocery business rise from around five per cent of total sales to 20 per cent by the end of the year.

This growth wasn’t limited to millennials, with over a quarter of over-35s grocery shopping online for the first time this year, alongside 20 per cent of over-55s.

READ MORE: Online grocery sales jump 117% in “the most dramatic change of shopping behaviour we’ve ever seen”

COVID-19 has also had a wider impact on our lives, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they reduced the number of vehicles they own and 48 per cent stating they have gone entirely cashless and plan to continue to do so.

“There’s no question that this has been a challenging year for us all,” Waitrose’s executive director James Bailey said.

“Yet from the disruption and uncertainty of Covid-19, we have seen the emergence of a new consumer worldview.”

Shoppers stuck at home also looked to treat themselves with “posh coffee at home” seeing coffee machine sales jump 64 per cent and roasted bean sales spike 44 per cent.

With more time to cook shoppers also took on more adventurous culinary projects, with sales of meat to slow cook rising 46 per cent, and sales of “store cupboard essentials from Asia” becoming its fastest growing range.

“The way we shop has been fundamentally reshaped by the pandemic,” Bailey continued.

“These changes are here to stay. The ‘new normal’ that we all spoke about back in the spring isn’t new anymore. It’s just normal.

“Call it a pivot, a new dawn or a fresh start, but one thing is clear: things will never be the same again.”

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