PayPal: The domestic e-grocery market reached 225 million euros

The exhibition "Trends and Opportunities: The European Grocery Landscape in 2022" presents the new trends that have influenced consumer habits as well as the need to promote more sustainable choices

“The trends in other countries are probably similar, as responsible consumption has become equally important in Central and Eastern Europe. These consumers vote for sustainable goods with their wallets – including e-wallets. In Greece, up to 89% of consumers buy groceries online, a clear sign that they are constantly looking for products of the highest quality and sufficiently nutritious and healthy.”, said Efi Dahan, General Manager of the PayPal for Central-Eastern Europe, Russia and Israel.

Environmental and consumer activism

In Europe, depending on the country, around 5-10% of food consumption is linked to environmental and consumer activism, which underlines the fact that those consumers who are interested in the climate crisis, at the same time want to align their markets with their personal values and beliefs.60% of Europeans choose to purchase green and eco-friendly products, proving in practice their trust and support to fair and ethical initiatives (such as the Fair Trade/ fair trade movement ).

An equally important factor for modern buyers is the very quality of the daily diet.63% of consumers across Europe have started visiting stores with a variety of organic items, according to the PayPal’s report. Increased health awareness means that European customers more often check not only the origin, composition and quality certifications of the products they put in their basket, but also the values they profess.

According to a relevant report by WWF, in Greece the top environmental concerns of people are focused on food, in order to avoid waste and ensure that it is cultivated in our country. It seems that Greeks are well informed and do not hesitate to express their particular concerns about the environmental impact of food production.

About 60% of local buyers prefer to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as local products, while 83% believe that all of us should adopt a diet model that does not burden the environment, doing good for both our health and our planet.

Price is not always what it’s all about

For a variety of businesses, it didn’t take long for it to become clear that sustainable and ethical consumption doesn’t just mean going to the neighborhood’s farmers’ market with a reusable bag in hand for our shopping. It is also associated with supporting the presence of producers and traders on the Internet. In fact, up to 70% of consumers in the U.S. directly support local businesses by making -exclusively or partially- online purchases.

This means that although online shopping is often linked to research to identify the lowest possible prices on digital shelves, the local origin and quality of the product are factors of major importance. In addition, the majority of Europeans prefer to buy from websites and apps that emphasise domestic stores.

“Despite the recent economic turmoil, the quality of each product plays a big role for consumers, as well as the low cost. Healthy, sustainable, organic and local species are highly sought after. In fact, the data we have collected confirm that, while 84% of buyers are likely to make decisions based on the price of the good, even more (89%) take into account mainly its quality.This tactic will accordingly affect the policy of businesses that until recently was based on the pricing strategy to maintain a competitive advantage. This is no longer the primary factor and they need to know it in order to act accordingly,” added Efi Dahan.

According to the 9th edition of the global survey ‘EY Future Consumer Index” people are focusing on simple basic needs and will stop wasting time and money on non-essential or important things, especially at a time when the pressure of rising inflation is being felt. Since the start of the pandemic, Greek consumers have been worried about the economy and the price of goods continues to concern them.Two out of five, in fact, have changed the brands they buy, either to reduce their spending, support the domestic economy, local businesses or neighborhood stores, or to switch to private label products.

In any case, the environment does not take second place – more than half (53%) say that in the future they will place even greater emphasis on the environmental or social impact of their markets.However, at this time, even among those who identify themselves as “planet first”, less than one in three (29%) are willing to pay more for more sustainable goods and services, and 40% for ethically produced products.

The sustainability and nature of the product (whether it is organic or not) are among the main purchase criteria of Greek consumers (43% and 36% respectively), whenever the time comes for their supplies. Despite local concerns about the relatively low level of quality, high prices, the absence of detailed information or guidance, as well as the possible lack of confidence due to greenwashing incidents, the issue of offering a wider and better range of sustainable products in Greece creates fertile ground and a great business opportunity, combined with the increasing penetration of e-commerce and the rise of this market, the total value of which reached a record amount of 14 billion euros in 2021.Online grocery purchases in this field would also be a big winner, given the fact that online sales of consumer goods in Greece in the first quarter of 2022 remained very close to the extremely high levels of the previous year, during which the prolonged lockdown gave a big boost to the growth rate of the sector. Last year, the annual turnover of the Greek e-grocery reached 255 million euros, up +56% in 2021 versus 2020. Is there anything that can still stand in the way?

“Right now, online businesses are faced with a challenge and the choice to join the green trend or stay behind in an industry that is inevitably attracted to sustainability. Consumers are indeed seeking information and education about the environmental impact of their purchases. So, ecommerce stores that make it easy for them to maintain control of the available viable options will ultimately be the winners. It is always better to buy something if we know that not only is it good, but it also strengthens the local economy and agriculture.” commented Efi Dahan.

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