We cannot predict the future of the grocery

The conventional wisdom is that epidemics give rise to a sweeping and permanent change in American habits, from analog to digital. But what about that basic habit – Pasarco shopping?

Americans spend more on groceries than almost anything else, and how we buy food is considered a breeze to assess the future of our shopping habits. This time, the direction is … not clear.

I’m tracking data on online grocery shopping in the US, and I’ll be frustrated and say I don’t have a clear picture.

Americans are certainly buying more grocery online than we are in 2019, but with some notable categories such as fresh and frozen food, online sales growth is slower than before the virus became widespread in the United States. Had started to spread. In recent months, online grocery sales have dropped or have dropped significantly from the previous year.

It is inevitable that digital sales will continue to grow as a share of US spending, including for grocery. But digital transformation is often not a straightforward march up a mountain, but an uneven climb up, down and to the side. And grocery shopping has been a particularly steep road.

My wish-wash analysis is that Americans haven’t gone over the Hill to buy Kelly on the Internet, but we’re not denying it.

Along with the figures that showed e-commerce to personally purchase lost land last year, the online grocery picture shows human behavior may be too complex for simple explanations.

Here is where things look like: Before 2020, Americans weren’t jazzed about delivering goods to our gates. Almost all US grocery stores are in the grocery store, depending on choice or need.

Online grocery shopping volume has grown from 7 to 15%, probably from 3 or 4% of total sales in 2019. Of salt.)

Delivery of parchment goods to our door is still relatively bad, but ordering parchment goods online to order at the store is caught and hiding during the outbreak. Could be

There has been some backlash over online ordering, however, and the vast majority of Americans are still buying groceries in the old fashioned way. It’s difficult to determine what and how much the online grocery habit is.

A report by Forrester and IRI found that in many types of products purchased in supermarkets, online growth was lower than in January 2020. In a shopper survey from research firm Bricks Meets Near Clicks, online grocery sales have been growing steadily lately.

It’s no surprise that online grocery sales didn’t rise as fast as we did in 2020 when Internet-packing was done. But sales are still relatively small, a sign of passionate digital love that is not in the numbers. Is rising fast or steadily. (Rising prices for everything also make it difficult to compete in 2019 with 2022 purchases.)

Even experts can’t say for sure how quickly Americans can afford to go online, or how much of our shopping may end up being virtual. “The numbers are too small to draw lasting results,” said Jason Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Advertising Dev Publice.

He told me that in his conversations with industry leaders, major supermarket chains are betting that online grocery shopping will be a big part of our lives but everyone is constantly judging their beliefs.

At least for now, supermarkets including Walmart, Target and Kroger are making money to raise money for options that people have bought online. This is the American go-to approach for digital grocery shopping.

Major supermarkets are also re-establishing stores to make it easier for their staff to collect orders online, and some have invested in automated mini-warehouses, such as Amazon.

Goldberg said that grocery sellers didn’t want to be left behind if and when more of our purchases happen on the Internet. But they are also confused, partly because online sales already add value to the challenging profitability sector.

Although grocery shopping online in small quantities has changed the experience of many shoppers online now, there are millions of Americans who work in grocery stores and are worried salesmen.

Still, the challenging and current coronaviruses of our online grocery analysis require humility about the stability of our adaptation. When people make bold statements about what happens in shopping, work or the economy, try to remember that no one really knows anything.

Maybe in your own life, you are not sure how you want to buy food. I am excited to hear about your experience at ontech@nytimes.com. Please put “grocery” in the subject line.


EDo you have a restaurant that supplies food or groceries? Brian Alex ChenA consumer technology columnist for The New York Times, suggests ways to determine the true value of your order, including fees that are sometimes not disclosed.

(Please note that delivery apps’ bills may vary, depending on where you live. Some U.S. cities have the option of adjusting delivery apps for their fees.)

Have you ever wondered why it’s worth the $ 50 to deliver a pepperoni pizza via Dover Dash or why it seems more expensive in terms of Instacart billing? This is not just because inflation has increased food prices. Online delivery apps and restaurants that depend on them will also find in your order for luggage fees that are not always transparent.

Consider an order I’ve placed for two subway sandwiches delivery. In one study I did last column, Uber Eats charged me $ 25.25, which includes food costs, service fees, delivery charges and surcharges for short orders – a 91 percent markup compared to what they cost. Compared to personally buying sandwiches.

In a separate experience, I was why some restaurants charge more for certain menu items when you order through delivery apps. The Family Festival bread at Panda Express costs $ 39 at the restaurant, but the same thing costs $ 47.10 if you order it via Dover Dash, Grubhub or Uber Eats. This was before paying the extra service fee. Restaurants sometimes increase menu prices to cover the commissions they pay for delivery apps.

The next time you are deciding what to order on delivery, be aware of what it may be worth to you. Take a closer look at the bill and compare the price of the item in the app with the menu item prices on the restaurant website or grocery store.

The real cost of using the Delivery app may force you to use the phone to order take-out and to order your own dinner, or you can decide if the delivery is worth it. In any case, you will be better informed.

  • Warfare is a proven step-by-step for scanning technology: My colleague Kashmir Hill reports that Clearview AI software, which promises to identify people with pictures of their faces, has been used to notify their families of the soldiers killed in the Ukrainian war. for the. But she also notes that face-to-face recognition companies are taking advantage of the crisis as a sales opportunity, and errors in identifying people can have dire consequences on the battlefield.

  • Problems for that, oh, the eye scanning company. It seems strange, but a startup called WorldCoin has promised to give people cryptocurrency in low-income countries and try to scan their eyes to see that no one paid more than once. To be done BuzzFeed News reported that some people were upset that they had vouchers for a currency that was not yet available.

  • How does e-commerce work on remote islands in the Pacific Ocean? In French Polynesia, locals have set up their own online shopping service that relies on planes, cargo planes, scooters and the Facebook Messenger app, although Off-World reports.

Please meet A gallery that loves everything.


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