Mar 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

Coronavirus is creating a renaissance for online grocery delivery

Data: Civic Science survey over four weeks; 7,606 total respondents; MOE ± 3%; Chart: Axios Visuals

Online grocery shopping has had a renaissance over the past month as the coronavirus outbreak has sequestered more people indoors.

The state of play: The number of people who say they are doing more grocery shopping online has risen from 11% on March 1 to 41% on March 22, fresh data from CivicScience shows.

Why it matters: This could mark a sea change for companies like Amazon, Instacart and Walmart that have been investing heavily in grocery delivery.

Go deeper: The workers feeding America

Go deeper

Americans expect to spend stimulus money

Reproduced from CivicScience survey; Note: ±3 percentage point margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

The majority of respondents to the latest CivicScience poll, provided first to Axios, say they would spend a government stimulus payment on bills, necessities and treats, rather than saving or investing the money.

Why it matters: That is a plus for the economy, which is built on consumers spending, not saving, their money.

Instacart plans to hire 300,000 more shoppers in coming months

Kaitlin Myers, an Instacart shopper. Photo: Denver Post/Cyrus McCrimmon

Instacart, the grocery delivery company, plans to hire 300,000 new workers to pick up and deliver orders to customers in North America over the next three months, more than doubling its current staffing.

Why it matters: Delivery services have become crucial for Americans as the coronavirus crisis forces many to stay at home. Instacart says order volume has grown by more than 150% year-over-year in the last few weeks, with the average customer basket size growing 15%.

Go deeper: The gig economy's coronavirus test

Walmart tests rival to Amazon Prime

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walmart plans to start publicly testing its new membership program called Walmart+ next month in hopes of competing with Amazon Prime, Recode's Jason Del Rey scoops.

Why it matters: The paid membership program "would include perks that Amazon can’t replicate, in part to avoid a direct comparison to Prime."