Grocery shopping online is poised for explosive growth in China, with more than half consumers saying they are buying more online even after stores reopen.

According to research by GlobalData, consumers in the region got used to purchasing online during the Covid-19 lockdown and the habit has stuck. The data shows 56 per cent of Chinese consumers are now grocery shopping online more frequently than before the pandemic hit.

“The impact of Covid-19 will leave a permanent mark on how we shop for groceries,” said Globaldata Retail Analyst Thomas Brereton, “with demand for home fulfilment soaring around the world as consumers follow the ‘stay at home’ message from many governments. With a population of 1.4 billion, the potential value growth in the Chinese online grocery market is phenomenal.”

Meituan, a Chinese food delivery service that was founded in 2010 is an example of this trend, as it has recently hit a $100bn valuation.