Many retailers have invested in online grocery options, but adoption has remained slow. (File Photo)


Online grocery shopping remains an option that most people do not use, according to a new poll.

Gallup found that 81% of U.S. consumers never order groceries online, while 11% do so at least once a month, according to a news release.

Certain groups overindex for online grocery, including people with children 18 and younger (19%) and people with household incomes of $100,000 or more (18%). Consumers age 30-49 and adults who work full-time are also more likely than the overall population to use online grocery.

“Based on these demographics, Gallup assumes that those ordering groceries online are doing so out of convenience and likely aren’t daunted by the additional service charges,” the company wrote in the release.

Gallup found that convenience may also be a key driver on the foodservice side, with 53% of people eating at a restaurant at least once a week (up from 45% in 2018) and 35% ordering food for takeout or delivery at least once a week (up from 31% in 2018).

“The increase since 2019 in weekly dining out is mostly apparent among lower-income (from 28% to 40%) and middle-income (from 47% to 56%) families,” Gallup wrote in the release. “The percentage of upper-income adults dining out at least once a week is steady (66% in 2018 and 67% in 2019) but remains higher than for other income groups.”

Age is another key variable in the likelihood of a person getting takeout or delivery. Among adults 49 and younger, 82% get takeout or delivery at least once a month, while the number is 57% for adults 50 and older.

“It is unclear if younger adults’ greater tendency to get takeout or delivery is more because of convenience or more because of a lack of cooking knowledge and skills,” Gallup wrote in the release. “Regardless, to the extent today’s younger adults continue to regularly get food by takeout or delivery as they get older, it promises to be a growth service for restaurants in the future.”

The company’s survey did not include information on how consumers were placing orders for takeout and delivery, but Gallup observed that doing so is probably less cumbersome for people because the process involves selecting only a few items rather than filling an entire grocery cart.

“Companies that provide online groceries — including traditional grocery stores and technology companies — are still determining the best ways to provide the service and grow its user base,” Gallup wrote in the release. “Online sales of fresh food have presented bigger logistical challenges than online sales of books, electronics, clothing and other goods.

“A few years into Amazon’s highly publicized purchase of Whole Foods, one could argue that the internet giant hasn’t yet figured out how to take full advantage of its grocery asset,” Gallup wrote. “Also, to date, it doesn’t appear the purchase has transformed the grocery industry as some predicted.”


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