Picnic jumps over Jumbo on Dutch online grocery market


In the Netherlands, Albert Heijn remains the clear market leader in the online grocery market. Pure player Picnic has pushed Jumbo out of second place.


Penetration rate drops again

Since 2015, the platform ‘Supermarkt & Ruimte’ has been researching the development of online grocery shopping in the Netherlands twice a year. Against the backdrop of the corona crisis, the findings are particularly interesting, as e-commerce in general received a solid boost from the pandemic.


Albert Heijn continues to dominate the market. 41% of respondents in the survey say they do their online shopping there. Picnic is preferred by 27% of online shoppers, while Jumbo loses market share and falls back to 21%. Outside the top-3, Plus is the fastest grower.


The outbreak of the corona crisis has greatly accelerated the growth of online shopping. In the autumn of last year, the penetration rate (the share of consumers who indicate that they sometimes do their shopping online) rose to 29%. In the recently published figures, the penetration rate has dropped again to 26%. Nevertheless, the online share of total supermarket sales is still growing, especially because consumers are also ordering more fresh food online. In absolute figures, the total online grocery market amounts to some 2.2 billion euros.



The success of online shopping is strongly determined by the regions. In the north of The Netherlands, the penetration rate is only 11%. Currently, it is mainly the Randstad (the central-western region, 28%) and the large cities (27%) that seem to embrace the concept, writes Emerce.


Furthermore, it appears that the customer satisfaction with online shopping is declining. What exactly causes this is not immediately clear. Possibly, the expectations of customers are increasing, but it may also be that the strong growth of the market has led to a decline in service.


Survival of the fittest

It is expected that the online share of total supermarket sales will continue to grow in the coming years, although not as fast as last year. Nevertheless, online sales are becoming increasingly important for supermarkets to maintain their market share, the researchers warn. "The time is approaching when the market share of online will reach such a level that there may well be disruptive effects locally. In the first instance, this will result in supermarkets that are already struggling with inadequate location quality or insufficiently meeting local customer needs (including online), seeing their operations come under such pressure that closure will be inevitable. In that sense, a growing online market share contributes to accelerating an autonomous trend: 'survival of the fittest'."