The online food and grocery market in Italy was worth €75 million in 2016, representing 30% growth from the previous year (€441 million), according to a report by the Observatory B2C eCommerce.
The figure includes products bought by Italian consumers on both Italian and foreign sites.
Although Italians spend a significant chunk of their income in the 'Food & Groceries' category, online purchases in that sector were only 0.35% in 2016.
In that segment, food accounts for 90% of the value of purchases, at €519 million (+27% year-on-year). Health & Care products account for the remaining 10%, but they are registering a significantly higher growth rate.
Sixty-percent of demand in the food category refers to packaged products, 31% to fresh, 7% to drinks and the remaining 2% to frozen products.
Traditional operators (retailers and manufacturers) are the leaders in this sector, but e-commerce platforms are growing at a faster rate. Amazon's entry into the sector, the growing contribution of flash sales, and the delivery of convenience food are the main reasons behind this trend.
The low uptake of online purchases is mainly attributable to the lack of supply that has long characterised the Italian market. But in recent years, there has been a proliferation of online offers, such as supermarket products, wines and food-to-go.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.