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Canadians disinterested in online grocery shopping

Study says Canadians enjoy buying online, but not for food

Canadians love online shopping for things like clothes and electronics, but food? Forget it.

A new survey from global research firm Mintel found 88% of Canadian grocery shoppers have never shopped for groceries online and 68% are not interested in trying it.

Part of the reason is that few bricks-and-mortar grocery retailers actually offer e-commerce. However, the resistance to the service primarily stems from concerns around the freshness of products, according to Mintel.

“Produce in particular is so tactile,” said Carol Wong-Li, senior lifestyles and leisure analyst at Mintel in Toronto. “People are used to picking it up, feeling the weight, smelling to freshness. And that’s something they’re not able to when they shop online.”

But it’s not all bad news. Of the 12% who have shopped for groceries online, most of them (8%) said they’d do it again. And there’s an opportunity for grocers to target both younger shoppers and Asian Canadians: the appeal of online shopping is higher 26% of those under 45 and 32% of Asian Canadians.

Additionally, the convenience of online grocery shopping is recognized by parents with children in the household (28%), those from larger households containing three or more people (25%) and those who are employed (24%).

“If grocery retailers are able to leverage that convenience factor, I think it will really drive , especially among younger people,” said Wong-Li. “They’re used to doing more click-and-collect shopping and they really see the conveniences.”

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