Online's share of UK grocery sales rose to 13.1% in January, up from 11.3% in December, according to the latest data from NielsenIQ.
This is the highest share that online has commanded in the UK grocery market since July 2021, however it is still some way off the peak of 16.1% recorded in January 2021, NielsenIQ said.
Given the tough lockdown measures imposed at the start of last year, NielsenIQ reported 'significantly fewer' shopping occasions in January 2022 (-14%), however this was compensated by more visits to stores (+12%).
“Sales during the first weeks of January are typically some of the lowest in the year and given last year’s lockdown, we’re measuring against very high comparatives," commented Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ head of retailer and business insight.
"However, our latest data shows a continued resilience in online grocery shopping and rising sales at convenience stores in recent weeks. This suggests that shoppers are continuing to adopt omnichannel shopping habits, now that all remaining restrictions are lifted."
Categories associated with lockdown have also seen a drop in sales – sales of beers, wine and spirits were down 14.2% compared to the corresponding period last year, while frozen foods were down 11% and packaged grocery down 8.3%.
Traditional Grocery Categories
At the same time, traditional grocery categories such as delicatessen (+11.1%), health and beauty (+9.4 %), petcare (+8%), soft drinks (+5.6%) and fresh bakery (+4.5%) have seen a return to growth, as shoppers return to the workplace and begin to commute again.
"January is also traditionally a month where shoppers are keen to keep household costs low, and along with the added convenience of online shopping, consumers have the opportunity to shop savvy by editing previous shopping lists, searching for lower cost alternatives, and managing the total ‘checkout’ spend if they are looking to economise when shopping for groceries online," Watkins added.