FRAMINGHAM (03/27/2000) - While U.S. consumers continue to stroll the supermarket aisles, online grocery shopping is booming in Europe.
Despite low margins, complex fulfillment processes and high marketing costs, online grocers in Europe are turning a profit.
By 2010, grocery shopping in Europe is expected to reach about US$100 billion or 10 percent of all grocery shopping in the region, according to a study conducted by Roland Berger & Partners Inc., a European management consulting company.
The study, which was based on interviews with 6,000 customers in six countries, found that Europeans like buying online. Among other things, produce is fresher and handled less frequently. The average supermarket apple, for example, is touched by 11 people before purchase, according to the study.
The study also found that time pressures and rising stress levels -- particularly among working women -- are also boosting online grocery buying.