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Online grocery shopping now worth £4.4bn a year

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A poll conducted by market researchers Mintel has found that 11% of British consumers regularly buy their groceries online and 35% do so occasionally.

45% of consumers, however, say they don't see the point of food shopping online. 83% say they like to be able to see and touch fresh produce before making a purchase and 66% say they prefer not to buy fresh food online as they are concerned about use-by dates.

"Our research reveals food is an emotional issue for today's consumers," says Kiti Soininen, senior retail analyst at Mintel. "For many shoppers, touching, feeling and even smelling food before purchase to select shopping tailored to their own specific requirements is preferable over the online shopping route."

"In addition, nearly three quarters of consumers often choose products because they look interesting in-store, so online grocery retailers could benefit from encouraging such impulse shopping online."

The online grocery market has grown 134% since 2005 and is estimated to reach £4.4 billion this year.

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