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  • NETMEDIA International

Online FMCG sales increase by 45% worldwide

The growth rate of FMCG products in the world has reached 10% in 2020. Online shopping is growing by 45%. In 2020, 5% of households worldwide have done their shopping online at least once, which is equivalent to 67 million additional households.

Kantar reveals the shopping habits of a world in the midst of a pandemic. The global fresh and self-serve FMCG sector grew at an unprecedented 10% worldwide in 2020, compared to 2.5% growth in 2019, as the Covid-19 crisis reshaped the way we live. The "Winning Omnichannel" study summarizes the real-world shopping habits of more than 1 million shoppers worldwide, representing the behaviors of 5 billion people (66% of the world's population) and 83% of global GDP.

Some highlights:

The U.S. saw the fastest growth in fresh and self-serve FMCG purchases (14%), followed by Western Europe (11.2%), LATAM (10.1%), Eastern Europe (6.6%) and Asia (3.1%).

Food purchases were up 11.4% in line with more meals eaten at home. Although FMCG+FLS sales up over 10% in 2020, the combination of Out-of-Home (OOH) and At-Home sales displays a decline of between 2% and 5% for the food and beverage sectors (excluding alcohol).

E-commerce now represents 6.5% of food sales worldwide.

Online sales have jumped 45.5% as more and more households have turned to online shopping sites. Sales of household products increased by 9.8% due to a particular interest in hygiene and cleanliness in order to ensure barrier gestures.

Spending on beverages, dairy and other foods, which accounted for 74% of FMCG+FLS sales in 2019, increased by 8.6%, 10.3% and 11.4 respectively, related to consumption shifts from out-of-home to in-home during most of 2020.

Alcohol sales were up 11% from a 2% in 2019 (LATAM, Western Europe and Asia). Western Europe and Latin America grew 25% and 20% respectively, while Asians were more sober during the pandemic with sales down 10% in 2020.

"2020 has been a transformational year for FMCG+FLS1," says Stéphane Roger, global director of Retail & Shopper at Kantar's Worldpanel division. When we first made our forecasts in 2019 - before Covis-19 existed - we expected further growth in FMC+FLS of nearly 2.5%."

It also states that "the stocking up phenomena in the first quarter, the transfer of consumption from outside the home to the home throughout the year and the lack of social interaction, are all impacts that have been felt in all regions, countries, distribution channels, sectors and categories. This environment has underlined the importance of adapting to the unknown to find new growth opportunities. While FMCG+FLS has benefited from the pandemic, no growth is ever consistently guaranteed, underscoring the importance of understanding and adapting to changing consumer behavior trends."

E-commerce has doubled its growth

The pandemic has boosted the growth of e-commerce in almost every market. By 2020, 5% of households worldwide have shopped online at least once, which is equivalent to 67 million additional households. In 2019, online shopping accounted for 4.9% of FMCG+FLS spending, in 2020, with 45.5% growth, it now accounts for 6.5% of global sales. For comparison, e-commerce growth in 2019 was 18.9%.

The strongest growth was observed in Asian markets; 25% of FMCG+FLS purchases in China and South Korea were made online, with respective increases of 6.4% and 3.3%.

The United Kingdom is the western country where the weight of e-commerce is the highest in the FMCG-FLS sector, reaching 11.4%. In all other Western countries, the weight of e-commerce remains below 10%, including only 4.1% for the United States, illustrating the enormous growth margin of Western countries on this channel.

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