Online grocery orders in the US have grown approximately 123% year-on-year, with consumers choosing to order food online in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research by New York-based food-tech firm Chicory.

Chicory’s research compared the percentage change of online grocery orders between January-March 2019 and January-March 2020, and the study found that orders of products with long shelf lives such as pasta, canned food products and evaporated milk have grown above the ‘benchmark’ 122.85% increase, with pasta orders increasing 698.88%.

Orders of several canned products increased well above the benchmark rate. For example, orders of canned crushed tomatoes increased 316.42%, while canned green chillies (+253.30%), canned pinto beans (+245.21%), canned diced tomatoes (+212.66%) and canned black beans (+162.77%) all experienced significant increases.Meanwhile, orders of evaporated milk have grown 287%, tomato sauce orders have increased 268% and frozen pizzas sales have risen 180.57%, as consumers seek to stock up on products which will last an extended period of time as they are faced with the prospect of extended periods of self-isolation in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Orders of fresh produce including fruit and vegetables and fresh meat have also increased, but below the benchmark rate.

Chicory’s director of retailer development, Nick Minnick, said: “As evidenced in China and now the United Kingdom, coronavirus causes inventory wipeouts in grocery stores, as worried consumers stock up on non-perishable foods, toiletries and anti-bacterial and sanitising products.

“However, for those living in food and retail deserts in rural areas and inner cities, online grocery will be that much more important to ensure that they receive the supplies needed.

“Retailers who don’t offer online ordering and delivery or only offer limited options will experience detrimental hits to sales as consumers opt for competitors who offer e-commerce options and delivery, like Amazon and Walmart. Additionally, retailers who have their own fulfilment centres fully stocked with packaged foods, like pasta, beans and rice, will benefit as local store inventory dwindles and shelves are wiped clean.”