Hedgeye Consumables | Grocery Sales Plummet & Wee! Raises Funds

03/24/21 01:34PM EDT

Below is a brief excerpt from a complimentary research note written by our Consumables analysts Howard Penney and Daniel BiolsiWe are pleased to announce our new Sector Pro Product Consumables Pro. Click HERE to learn more.

Hedgeye Consumables | Grocery Sales Plummet & Wee! Raises Funds - 3 24 2021 1 28 57 PM

Grocery sales plummet against stockpiling comparisons (ACI)

For the week ended March 14 total, CPG demand fell 37% as we lapped the stockpiling early in the pandemic last year.

Frozen food sales fell 39%, produce sales fell 21%, and beverage alcohol sales fell 22%, as seen in the following chart.

Meat sales fell 38%, with all subcategories seeing a significant drop in demand. The worst performing in the meat sub-category was frankfurters, down 48%. Seafood was the only category to see an increase this week, up 2%.

The entire edible category fell 34%, while non-edibles fell 52%. Within non-edibles, paper products saw a 71% YOY decline while household cleaning fell 49%.

This week and the next week are the most difficult comparisons of the pandemic for consumer packaged goods.

Hedgeye Consumables | Grocery Sales Plummet & Wee! Raises Funds - groc2

Weee! raises funds (KR)

Weee!, an online grocer focusing on Asian and Hispanic customers, raised $315M in a Series D round of financing at a $2.8B valuation. Weee! has now raised $415M in total funding, a sizable amount in a differentiated segment of the grocery market.

The company was founded in 2015 with an initial focus on the Asian community, but it has recently expanded to Hispanic foods. The company considers itself an ethnic grocer and currently serves 14 regions in the U.S.

The company said the investment would be used to accelerate expansion in North America.

Numerous online grocers have raised funds since the pandemic began. From the generalized grocers like Instacart, Easy Bins, and Good Eggs, there are several competitors to hyperlocal grocers like Fridge No More.

There are even more niche concepts like Imperfect Foods, which focuses on surplus foods, Hive, which focuses on sustainable grocery. Thrive Market focuses on organic groceries, Dumpling, which enables personal delivery services, and Farmstead sells software to other online grocers, among others.  Startups have also been raising funds internationally and have seen with Flink, Weezy, Jiffy, Crisp, BigBasket, Rohlik, and Xingsheng Youxuan recently.

The industry expects online grocery to grow in 2021 despite the difficult comparisons and increasing vaccine distribution. Online grocery shopping also slowed sequentially in February. Determining the last mile solution is a challenge for all participants. The startups’ flush cash balances will keep the competitive environment intense and a margin headwind for the incumbent grocers. 

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