Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 54

SUPPLY CHAIN
Direct to
consumers
by Kristen Putch | kputch@sosland.com
D
espite being two years removed from the heart of the
COVID-19 pandemic, consumers continue to turn to
purchasing food and groceries online. Prior to the
pandemic, grocery e-commerce for 2020 was projected to be
4.3% of grocery sales, however, the pandemic accelerated this
growth to 10.2% as large numbers of consumers suddenly and
unexpectedly searched for online options for their food needs,
according to grocery retailer e-commerce solutions provider
Mercatus, Toronto.
One trend contining to reshape the dairy industry is the
Direct to Consumer (D2C) model with more and more dairy
manufacturers taking the initiative to offer their products
directly to end consumers. Consumer behavior, shaped by digital
and social media, promoted the development of D2C model
which was further accelerated by the pandemic.
Fluid milk and natural cheese saw substantial increases in
e-commerce sales during the pandemic. For instance, natural
cheese online sales increased 160% in April 2020 and 193% in
May 2020, according to Midwest Dairy, St. Paul, Minn. Among
consumers that purchased dairy products online during
COVID-19, a survey from research firm Circana, Chicago,
found that 70% indicated they will continue purchasing
online. For dairy processors, e-commerce product sales offer
the opportunity to not only provide customers with another
convenient option to make purchases, but also to access nonlocal
customers and consumers.
FOLLOWING THE TRENDS
Online food and beverage retail sales, which includes instore
pickup, curbside delivery and at-home delivery, tracked by
Euromonitor International, reached $76 billion in 2022, and the
market researcher predicts online grocery will be the largest
source of growth for food and beverages in the United States in
the future.
Approximately 26% of Americans used online grocery
shopping services in 2022, according to Euromonitor, up from
13% before the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, relying on traditional retailers to facilitate these
types of online purchases, also means that processors are
tied to the traditional supply chain which includes a supplier,
Navigating essential
packaging and shipping
issues processors
need to succeed.
54 NOV-DEC 2023 | DAIRYPROCESSING.COM
©Evgeny Vershinin-stock.adobe.com
http://www.DAIRYPROCESSING.COM

Dairy Processing - November/December 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dairy Processing - November/December 2023

Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - Intro
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 1
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 2
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 3
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 4
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 5
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 6
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 7
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 8
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Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 11
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