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Poland: Biedronka is the leader of the e-grocery market

Discount Retail Chain Biedronka (owned by Jeronimo Martins) is ahead of, Auchan and Carrefour.

In one pandemic year, the online food retail market has changed dramatically. Biedronka became the leader of the e-grocery market, Lithuanian Barbora and several other retail chains appeared on it, and Tesco, which for several years was the largest player on this market, disappeared. Such rapid changes are also proof of how shallow the Polish e-grocery market is and how easily it can be shaken by a large player.

The pandemic resulted in an increased demand for online shopping from consumers, which retailers responded efficiently. The e-commerce channel offer has been joined by such networks as: Biedronka, Żabka, Kaufland, and many other, also smaller chains. There are also new business models based on cooperation of the retail network with partners such as Glovo, UberEats and Everli.

The results of the survey in "E-commerce" by NielsenIQ show that during the last year, 9% of people used FMCG purchases in the e-commerce channel. New consumers, and 20% of online buyers also declared that they had expanded their grocery basket with categories that they had not previously bought in this channel.

Beata Kaczorek emphasizes that new retailers have strongly marked their presence in the online food trade market. After exiting the Polish market with the largest e-shopping network, Tesco, the leadership was taken over by Biedronka, debuting in this format, which entered this segment with the participation of Glovo.

The results of the survey in E-commerce NielsenIQ show that 22% of Biedronka's services have been used in the last year. Polish buyers, which is the highest penetration among retailers in the e-commerce channel. This is due to the wide range of this network, but it also shows that the narrower product offer did not constitute a barrier to the use of this network, explains the NielsenIQ expert.

And he adds, '"the entry of new wide-range chains may be of significant importance for setting new directions for the development of this channel, on the one hand extending the availability of this service, but also influencing consumer expectations. New suppliers often - due to the created business models based on a limited range, but also speed of delivery - respond to other consumer needs, such as: smaller purchases, shopping "for now".

According to the expert of NielsenIQ, the presence of the leading discount chains in the e-grocery market may affect price competitiveness, but also consumer expectations in terms of the speed of delivery, which are key factors for choosing an online store today.

The share of e-grocery in e-commerce has remained unchanged over the last few years and amounted to approx. 2.4 percent. In 2019, only about 0.8 percent of FMCG was bought online. Here pace is clearly picking up this roar. Although the entire market will grow fast, e-grocery is to grow even faster, by over 40 percent, increasing its share to 2.7% bringing it up to approx. 1.1 percent. Reaching approximately PLN 2.1 billion (US$560 million) in turnover compared to e.g. 2017 the market was just over PLN 1 billion (US$270 million).

According to dr hab. Arkadiusz Kawa, director of Łukasiewicz, Institute of Logistics and Warehousing, estimates of 2-3 percent as a share for e-grocery in the total FMCG sales in Poland within 2-3 years (GfK Polonia, or even up to 5 percent). We are very optimistic because they assume the multiplication of the value of this market in a very short time, which can be very difficult. I estimate that by the end of 2022 this share will double and will amount to approx. 2%.


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