20.01.2022 - Food processing & retail

Online food shopping still growing in Latvia

Under the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are increasingly shopping on the Internet. In addition to traditional purchases of household appliances and electronics, it is increasingly common to purchase food online.

The retailer Maxima's online shop Barbora has been in operation for five years. Barbora's chief executive Sanita Bērziņa says that demand for food products increased by 40% at the end of the year, so it has been difficult to complete all orders.

"Internet food sales are specific to customers buying food products and household goods for several days ahead. And on holiday, we can see the trend of buying more goods for the table, such as expensive alcohol, meat products. Tangerine demand has grown [..], the things that are typical of December – such as hot drinks, gingerbread, Christmas candy. December is, as usual, one of the best months of the year in retail," said Bērziņa.

"This year, however, is different from the others and from last year completely certainly, because we see another problem, not only in our business but in the economy overall, and it is labor shortage.  It is the lack of workforce that is one of the reasons why we were not able to cover all the requests that came to us because there were no employees who could pack up the goods and no couriers who could deliver the goods."

Juris Šleiers, head of public relations for the shop network “Rimi”, says that it was the Covid-19 pandemic that led to the creation of a “Rimi” e-shop two years ago. It now employs 300 workers, the car fleet has become three times larger and deliveries are provided in Rīga, Pierīga and Liepāja.

"Let's say, there were about 100,000 visits to our e-store on holiday. Over the end of the year, we saw growing demand for “Rimi” culinary, fresh fruit and vegetables. Carp was very demanded this year. What's interesting, this year, people made bigger purchases on December 30 without leaving everything to December 31, the last day. The public is very quickly accepting changes in the area of digitalization, and in the e-commerce environment, new services will appear, it will become more convenient and intuitive, you will not have to click a lot through many pages, but it will be very easy to do from a smart TV. With every improvement, it's as if it's already talking to you and recognizing you. The age group that uses e-commerce will expand. "

Inguna Gulbe, head of the Agricultural Market Promotion Centre, estimates buying food on the Internet will not lose its popularity in the future:

"Some people have come back to normal shopping because they like to go out. It's a whole process – they go to the shop with a list, so many people want to see what's in the shop, because if you want to buy apples, then you go, see which the prettiest ones are, which you think best and you take them. If you're buying on the Internet, it's pretty hard to visualize what it might be and what you might want. [..] But if a person has learned, they know how to do it, they use it more often [..]. Covid-19 showed us that we can do it and gain new skills and new habits."

Source: eng.lsm.lv

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