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More than a quarter (27 per cent) of food and grocery manufacturers said they would consider building their own e-stores in the future in a bid to engage directly with shoppers online, according to research published today on March 9 by food and grocery analysts IGD.

Additional findings from IGD's Online grocery retailing 'Building capability for a digital future' report include:

Size of online channel
•The value of online grocery shopping is forecast to double by 2015 with sales set to reach £9.9bn - twice its value of £4.8bn at the end of 2010
•Sales online continue to grow at a faster rate than any other sector in the grocery market, with growth of 21.4% last year
•In 2010, the online grocery market accounted for 3.2% of total grocery spend in the UK and is projected to increase to 5.4% by 2015

Retailers and manufacturers
•More than two-fifths (43%) of manufacturers expect up to 10% of their total revenue to come from the online channel by 2015 - more than double the number (18%) currently generating this revenue level

Shoppers
•For 59% of shoppers, the removal of the delivery charge continues to be seen as the single most important factor that would drive them to shop online for their groceries*
•13% of shoppers expect to use online grocery shopping more in the next year, rising to 24% of 18-34 year olds**
•88% state that reliable delivery is the top factor driving online store choice, followed by suitable delivery slots (86%) and ease of setting up the order (84%)

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: "The world around us is changing and technology is leaping ahead. You only need to look at the last ten years to see that the digital age is evolving at an incredible pace.

"The strong growth predicted for the online grocery channel presents an opportunity for companies of all sizes and types - retailers, manufacturers, local producers - to meet the needs of today's multi-channel shopper. It is encouraging to see manufacturers looking to flex their business models, participate in the digital explosion and engage with consumers in different ways.

"As the market is constantly changing, it's still difficult to predict exactly what online grocery retailing will look like in the next few years. What is exciting, however, is how the digital revolution will evolve and shape our industry in the years to come."

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