Retail and e-commerce - February 2021

01 March 2021

Developments in retail
CBS reports that in 2020 the Dutch retail sector achieved 5.9% year-on-year turnover growth, the second-highest growth rate recorded this century. However, due to the measures against the spread of COVID-19, there are great divergences within the sector.
Meal delivery and grocery delivery in the Dutch market, are the two big winners of the corona crisis. In 2020, the total delivery market grew by 43.1%. Together the delivery players now account for almost 10% of total spending on food and drink, the FSIN (in Dutch) reports.
IPSOS has published a global survey (1.5 MB) about how shopping and eating out has changed during the pandemic.
At the end of 2020, Ecommerce Europe conducted a new survey (3.6 MB) on the impact of the second lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic on the e-commerce sector in Europe.

Retail trends for 2021
Freshfel Europe and the OECD have published an extensive study (2.5 MB) with the title ‘Online Sales of Fruit and Vegetables in Europe’ exploring the structure and regulatory challenges of selling fruit and vegetables online.
Ranpak’s annual e-commerce and packaging trends survey conducted in the USA reveals that e-commerce will rise in 2021 and shows the demand for sustainable packaging.
A report (2.3 MB) by IRI highlights several themes that defined 2020, including the triple-digit growth in e-commerce; a double-digit increase in frozen products and alcoholic beverages; premiumisation across multiple categories; and significant growth in sustainability claims, including plant-based ingredients and recycled packaging.

Sustainability in retail and e-commerce
On 4 February 2021, Tom Nieuwenhuis held a speech entitled ‘Exploring reusability of primary packaging by focusing on the product category of meal salads’ as part of his master assignment at the University of Twente. Chairman of the assessment committee was professor Roland ten Klooster who holds the NVC Chair Packaging Design and Management.
Researchers from the Shandong University of Science and Technology published an article (4.8 MB) in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health entitled Research on the Evolution of the Express Packaging Recycling Strategy, Considering Government Subsidies and Synergy Benefits.
Prologis has published a new study (1.64 MB) by the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab revealing the environmental benefits of online shopping.
A study (summary, 180 kB) released by EPPA reveals that single-use paper-based food and drink packaging used in European quick service restaurants is better for the environment than reusable tableware.

New e-commerce rules in the EU
The European Commission has proposed an ambitious reform of the digital space, with a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act.

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