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Canadians disinterested in online grocery shopping

Study says Canadians enjoy buying online, but not for food

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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 [determine] 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 [online grocery shopping], 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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