By Marcus Leach

Latest research by food and grocery analysts IGD reveals that sales in online grocery retailing are set to hit £11.2 billion in 2016, almost twice the estimated value for 2011 of £5.9 billion.

At the end of this year, the online grocery market will account for 3.8% of total grocery spend in the UK and is projected to increase to 6.0% by 2016.

The following findings were also unveiled at IGD’s Online Grocery Retailing event, taking place today (Tuesday) at the British Museum.

The manufacturer perspective

- A third (33%) of food and grocery manufacturers would consider developing their own e-stores and sell their products directly to shoppers, up from a quarter (27%) in November last year.
- 61% of manufacturers say the pace of growth in online grocery retailing in the next five years will accelerate year-on-year.
- Smartphone applications came top of the list by manufacturers when asked what would have the greatest impact on the online channel in the future.

IGD ShopperTrack research

- More than four in ten adults (44%) intend to shop online for their groceries in the next five to ten years, compared to just 17% who are currently doing so.
- Almost two thirds (64%) use two or more online supermarkets to shop for their food and groceries, with almost half (47%) saying they would like to try another online supermarket.
- A third (36%) of shoppers say they intend using online shopping together with other outlets (such as supermarkets, local stores) to buy their groceries in the next five to ten years.

“A digital explosion is taking place and technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. Just in the last twelve months we’ve seen an array of innovations in the online arena and we expect this to continue," Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said.

“Although online grocery retailing only accounts for 3.8% of the total grocery market, it is the fastest growing grocery channel and one which will be used more widely in the future as shoppers become increasingly multi-channel. Our research shows us that even those shoppers that don’t currently buy their groceries online (33%) intend to do so in the future.

“As the market is constantly changing, it’s still difficult to predict exactly what online grocery retailing will look like in the next few years. What is exciting, however, is how the digital revolution will evolve and shape our industry in the years to come.”

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