E-commerce was the fastest-growing channel in the global grocery market last year, growing 15.8% on the back of a 45.9% increase the previous year, new data from Kantar has found.
E-commerce now represents 7.2% of food sales, compared to 6.3% in 2020 and 4.8% in 2019, Kantar's Winning Omnichannel report showed.
Growth was more muted in other channels, with Convenience up 2.6% last year (accounting for 3.6% of overall grocery), discounters up 2.3% (10.1% of overall grocery), and hypermarkets/supermarkets rising 0.1% (51.4% of overall grocery).
Overall, the global grocery sector grew by 2.1% last year, which was in line with the average 2% growth recorded over the past five years. Due to the pandemic, the year 2020 was something of an anomaly, with global FMCG growth rising 10.6%.
'Reflecting the sector performance earlier in the report, every channel has seen a slowdown in growth in 2021 compared to 2020,' Kantar said in its report.
'However, the slowdown of every other channel has been significantly more than that of e-commerce. This has meant that only online has made a significant share gain of +0.9%, [and is] now worth 7.2% of the global take-home FMCG market.'
Growth varied from region to region, however, with FMCG value sales actually down 0.2% in Western Europe last year, following on from a 11.6% increase in 2020.
Latin America was the key growth driver last year, according to Kantar, with a 9.2% gain (following on from 16.4% growth the previous year), with Middle East and Africa (+4.3%), Eastern Europe (+3.0%), the US (+2.7%) and Asia (+1.8%) also seeing increases in 2021.
Where lockdown measures persisted, such as in countries like Brazil, FMCG sales have been higher, Kantar's data shows, while heightened inflation in Latin America has also played a part in boosting sales in the region.
Segment By Segment
Looking at individual grocery segments, the beverages sector fared slightly better than food in 2021, with Total Beverages rising 2.9% (compared to 11.3% growth in 2020) and Total Food up 2.5% (on 12.2% growth the previous year).
However, while the beverages sector has been boosted by subsegments like carbonated soft drinks, wine and champagne have bucked this trend, going from double-digit growth in 2020 to a decline in 2021.
Of the main grocery macro categories, Total Home Care (+1.1%) and Total Health & Beauty (+0.7%) showed the slowest growth last year, according to Kantar's data.