Food and drink e-commerce sales continued to grow in 2021 albeit at a much lower rate than in the previous year. This growth occurred during the first months of 2021 when lockdown restrictions were still in place, while once the restrictions were lifted consumers chose to return to stores, at least from time and time.
The pandemic accelerated the development of partnerships between grocery retailers and third party delivery service providers such Bolt Food and Wolt. Convenience stores such as Delia and Stary Otec, but also other independent retailers, began partnerships with Bolt and Wolt.
Despite the noticeable growth seen in food and drink e-commerce in Slovakia since the onset of the pandemic, the overall proportion of food and drink e-commerce sales in grocery sales overall remains low in 2021. E-commerce sales as a proportion of total grocery sales is particularly low in Slovakia when compared to other countries in Western Europe, remaining in the single digits as a percentage overall.
Food and drink e-commerce will benefit from the new online shopping habits consumers adopted during the pandemic and is forecasted to continue to see year-on-year growth in value sales in the forthcoming years, even as this growth will eventually stabilise. Both independent food and drink e-commerce retailers as well as chained grocery retailers with an online presence are anticipated to see continued growth in online value sales, even if the growth rate will not be as high as in 2020 given the unusual circumstances.
Growth in the sales channel will be driven by the growing number of consumers choosing to shop for their groceries online, as well as an expanding offer of groceries online including fresh produce. Major grocery retailers are likely to facilitate online shopping over the forecast period; either by launching or further developing their own e-commerce site or by partnering with e-commerce only players and third party delivery services.
Most food and drink e-commerce retailers are online only players, selling products not well-represented in stores, giving them a competitive edge. This includes organic, gluten-free, locally-sourced products and vegan products; allowing them to respond to consumer demands for healthy foods, and catering to people with different allergies and intolerances.
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Internet retailing sales of food and drink (all packaged and fresh food and drink (hot drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Food and Drink Internet Retailing research and analysis database.
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