Online grocery sales in the U.S. reached $98 billion last year, fueled by $8.9 billion in sales for the month of December from more than 69 million households, according to the latest Brick Meets Click / Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey. Nearly 80% of December’s online sales were from pickup and delivery, with 20% from ship-to-home sales.

December online grocery sales were the third highest total in the year, behind January and March, which both generated $9.3 billion. Overall, online grocery had a 13% annualized share of total grocery spending in 2021, up almost two percentage points from 2020.

Brick Meets Click noted that the U.S. is a pickup-dominated market, except in some of the largest urban markets. During 2021, the pickup channel grew its share of online sales by 5% (compared to 2020) to 45%, while delivery remained flat at 33% and ship-to-home declined 5% to 22%.

“Even before the pandemic started, pickup was preferred over delivery,” according to David Bishop of Brick Meets Click. “Then in April 2020, pickup took the top spot away from ship-to-home, and it’s kept that spot ever since.”

 

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