Swiss Consumers perceive digital as a valuable channel for their food and grocery purchases

22 June 2020

In the latest consumer report, Netcomm Suisse Observatory is taking a look at the Swiss online food market for discovering the latest trends and new opportunities for Swiss e-retailers and brands on digital channels. The report examines habits for online food purchases - but also takes a look at the use of delivery services in Switzerland.

Our data shows that most of the active online shoppers in the food market order at least once a month. A share of 18% is ordering at least weekly. The average expenditure per purchase mainly stays below a value of CHF 100 with a peak seen between CHF 76 and CHF 100. Consumers mainly buy packed food, fresh food and cold beverages online.


Consumers still face some obstacles for e-Food. Thinking about what could hold them back from buying food online, most survey participants mentioned the presence of supermarkets in close proximity to their homes. Further, people hesitate as they want to control the product quality before purchasing. Another important factor are high delivery costs which can loom even heavier as supermarkets are nearby and consumers balance between convenience and avoiding extra costs.


Our report also takes a closer look at the subscription economy in the food sector. Our sample identifies that curation programs (delivery of a surprise box within a given time interval) are more popular. In terms of product categories, people most often subscribe to coffee, fruits and vegetables, and snacks. Non-users are hesitating to automate their purchases and expenditures as the main reason for not accessing a subscription service.



We further identified a share of 67% that is using restaurant food delivery services at least on an annual base. The share of monthly users accounts for 34%. The main user groups are Swiss German, male and younger than 46 years. Consumers mainly spend less than CHF 50 per purchase with a peak of in-between CHF 26 and CHF 50. The vast majority of users is ordering for dinner.


Thinking about building up consumer confidence on digital channels in the food sector, Marco Speroni from our sponsor S'nce Group states the importance of going beyond the pure product presentation by creating a new experience through story telling:

"Engaging stories are crucial in the consumer journey and a key success factor in online business, specifically in the food industry. Being accurate, transparent and emotionally appealing through storytelling creates a competitive advantage, driving both online and offline sales. As a consequence of the global digital market, consumers are more likely to choose tasting experiences rather than products, stories rather than characteristics. Consumers are much more independent and competitors are everywhere; an interesting story can be as compelling as an interesting price."


Learn more about S'nce Group here:


Access the full report – free for all Netcomm Suisse members - and a free preview here:


The report was created in close collaboration with AperaMente.


Research methodology:

  • Computer-assisted web interviews (CAWI)
  • 202 completed surveys of Swiss-based online shoppers
  • Interview length: 15 minutes
  • Date: late April 2020

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