The Lading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, Shopee highlights significant changes in the food and grocery market as Filipinos become more “online-first” for food products. In particular, people are doing a larger share of food shopping online, with a 2.5-times increase in users who buy food items multiple times a month on Shopee. Sellers and brands adapt to this “new normal” by offering a wider variety of online food products and using live streaming to assure buyers of quality in real-time.
Shopee outlines four major trends in the food and grocery market in the Philippines:
1. Consumers become “online-first” for food products
Filipinos see e-commerce as the preferred channel for food and groceries, marked by:
— More Filipinos are shopping for food online: Shopee has observed a 2.5-times increase in the number of users who buy food products multiple times a month. This shows that Filipinos are shifting a larger share of food and grocery shopping online to reap the convenience of e-commerce.
— People shop for food around the clock: E-commerce is making it more convenient for consumers to shop for food items at any time. As a result, shopping activity stays high throughout the week, peaking on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
2. Food and grocery shopping evolve as people adapt to Covid-19 pandemic
People are also buying a wider variety of food items online, as they make lifestyles changes at different stages of social distancing and the Covid-19 pandemic:
— High demand for staple foods and baking supplies in March: The onset of social distancing motivated people to ensure ready food supplies at home, with demand for staple foods and baking supplies increasing by 70 times.
— More “offline” food products bought online: Filipinos became more comfortable with buying food and groceries online as social distancing continued. In April, demand for beverages and alcohol grew 8 times on Shopee.
Top products: Caramelized sugar syrup, evaporated milk, and food flavorings for baking.
3. Rural and male consumers among the most active online food shoppers
As buying food products online becomes a norm, Shopee has observed that shopping activity is proliferating among rural and male consumers:
— Spike in grocery demand among rural consumers: Consumers outside Metro Manila are also seeing e-commerce as a key channel for food and groceries because of reduced access to physical stores. Shopee’s food shopping activity from areas outside of Metro Manila increased 2.5 times in the past few months.
— Men are doing more grocery shopping and cooking: Male food shopping activity increased up to three times from 2019. Men appear to be doing more home cooking and grocery shopping in recent months, with seasoning products and baking ingredients as the most popular among male users on Shopee.
4. Brands and sellers digitalize with Shopee, use new tools to sell food online
Brands and sellers are adapting to the new “online-first” environment through Shopee. They are offering an extensive range of food products and leveraging new tools to sell online:
— Offering more choice and variety: Shopee has seen steady growth in the number of brands and sellers offering food products online, creating more buyers’ preference. On Shopee, the array of food products on the platform has doubled from 2019.
— Using new tools to sell food online: Brands and sellers use live streaming to sell food products more effectively. In recent months, Shopee Live has become a vital tool for sellers to showcase new items and assure product quality in real-time, driving more views and sales.
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