European consumers will gradually move away from supermarkets in the coming decade in favour of online purchases, according to a new report from Rabobank. The international financial services provider believes this will increase sales of frozen foods as it "over-indexes with online orders in leading grocery regions such as France and the UK."
The Rabobank report 'Europe’s New Ice-Age', said that this over-indexing is unlikely to disappear, since ordering frozen food online has many advantages for consumers. This, the report said, offers a prime growth opportunity for frozen food manufacturers (€48 billion in retail sales).
It adds that as frozen foods are often purchased at the end of a shopping trip, to avoid defrosting in transit, the category suffers as shoppers may have passed the fresh and canned sections and chosen them instead. "In other words," the report states, "online grocery shopping levels the playing field for frozen food."
The study also suggests that online shopping will become more popular with more 'click and collect' stations which allow consumers more freedom than usual online shopping which requires them to appoint a specific delivery time.
"Frozen food should thrive online because there are no physical constraints in terms of shelf space, compared to stores where space dedicated to freezers in limited, partly due to relatively high storage investments and high operational costs (energy, fulfilment)," the report says.
Additionally, newer channels like hard discount and convenience stores will increasingly draw customers away from hyper and supermarkets, according to the report. This is due to the fact that, as online sales rise, so too will stores close in proximity benefit with consumers engaging in top-up shopping.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson