The grocery landscape worldwide is changing "for good", British online supermarket Ocado has said, after a year in which the global pandemic forced many people to buy online for the first time.
Ocado's comments came as it reported a 35% jump in sales over the past year. Amid rocketing demand the company, which has partnered with Kroger in the U.S. to build distribution centers, narrowed losses from £214.5m to £44m.
The rapid acceleration of many pre-existing trends in business and society has been a feature of the COVID-19 crisis, and the dramatic channel shift in grocery is a clear example of this,” Chief Executive Tim Steiner said in a statement. "The landscape for food retailing is changing for good.
"Online grocery market share in the UK has nearly doubled over the last year to 14%, according to Kantar. Similar trends are observable in the United States as well as many other countries around the world."
One of the many positives to come out of the online shopping trend over the past several months has been the ability of British retailers like Ocado to be able to deliver to customers during the pandemic. According to a report from McKinsey & Company
done in December, of five European nations surveyed (Italy, France, Germany and Spain), the UK offered the best online experience, with only 5% saying they were dissatisfied.
The UK was also the only country in the study to score a positive rating in intent on customers moving forward and still using online shopping, at +5%.
Ross Hindle, from research firm Third Bridge, said: "These are not just results, these are remarkable results. Ocado couldn't have asked for better trading conditions. The company said many customers were saying they were unlikely to revert to pre-crisis shopping habits.
Ocado's chief executive, Tim Steiner, said he wanted to "pay tribute to the remarkable work of our colleagues in exceptionally challenging circumstances".