According to findings from the Food Marketing and Institute and Nielsen, online food shopping will reach maturation within the next decade, far faster than other industries that have come online before.

The research, a preview of its Digitally Engaged Food Shopper report, also says that the center store is likely to shift online faster than other departments, suggesting a fundamental evaluation of the role the store plays in digital food shopping. The research estimates that in the current climate of technology adoption and evolution, consumer spend on online grocery shopping could reach $100 billion. That is the equivalent of 3,900 grocery stores based on store vlume.

Other key findings of the research:

  • Multi-channel shopping: More shoppers are buying more of their groceries across channels. In fact, 23% of American households are buying food online today. This upward trend continues - of those that will buy online, 60% expect to spend over a quarter of their food dollars online in ten years.
  • Digital Experimentation: Grocery retailers and manufacturers are meaningfully experimenting with business models and technologies to find their way online. However, the road to success has not been paved.
  • Grocery Saturation: Grocery shopping will reach digital maturity and saturation faster than other industries before, such as publishing or banking.
  • Center Store Migration: Center store categories are already migrating online and this migration is expected to continue.
  • Young & Digital: Younger, newer and more engaged digital shoppers adopt grocery related digital technologies more quickly and will hasten the expansion of digital grocery shopping further.

The "Digitally Engaged Food Shopper" study is part of a strategic alliance and multi-year initiative with FMI and Nielsen to uncover comprehensive insights on current and future digital shopping behaviors within the food retail marketplace. A copy of the full report is available at