With growing concerns about community spread where infection rates are particularly high coupled with the rise of COVID-19 variants that are more easily spread, more people are asking if even weekly grocery shopping trips are too risky. As a result, even holdouts are putting options back on the table to make customers comfortable and limit in-store traffic.
For instance, Costco – which has long resisted curbside pickup services, suggesting they don’t need it and that their stores aren’t set up for it – is dipping their toes in the water. The company has launched a pilot program offering curbside pickup at three stores in New Mexico. Orders can be placed through Instacart and Costco employees will handle fulfillment. At this point, product pricing is the same as in the store, but order must be at least $100 and customers are charged $10 per order for the convenience.
Most stores have had success with curbside delivery or click-and-collect shopping, even if they have struggled at times with logistics and having enough capacity to meet consumer demand. This market of potential customers is substantial. According to The Freedonia Group’s National Online Consumer Survey (conducted November – December 2020), 35% of respondents noted they had used grocery store curbside pickup for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including Retail Bags, Protective Packaging, Commercial Refrigeration Equipment, and Global E-Commerce Packaging. Related reports from our sister publisher, Packaged Facts, include US Food Market Outlook 2020: Home Cooking, Grocery Shopping & Food Trends in the Age of Coronavirus, Global Food E-Commerce, and Online Grocery in the US. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.