PayPal Grocery Trends Study shows 46 per cent of Irish people intend to shop online for Christmas dinner as they don’t feel comfortable shopping in crowds

53% of consumers do not feel comfortable shopping in a crowd of people

Study also revealed 36% don’t feel comfortable using cash or touching keypad to enter PIN

Almost a fifth (18%) used online payment methods for the first time in past year

62% of respondents think shopping for groceries online helps save time

Dublin, 23rd November 2021 – The pandemic is resulting in a trend for more people to shop online for food, groceries and meal kits. A new PayPal Grocery Trends Study[1] 2021 reveals that 46 per cent of people in Ireland plan to purchase at least part of their food and groceries for Christmas and holiday dinners online this year. The survey of 1,000 Irish consumers found that half (53%) do not feel comfortable shopping in a crowd of people and 36 per cent do not feel comfortable using cash or touching a keypad to enter their PIN going forward.

Shift in Consumer Behaviour  

According to the research, there has been a marked shift in online food and grocery shopping over the past year, with more than a third (35%) shopping for groceries online for home delivery more often. Furthermore, 23 per cent shopped for groceries online with fast delivery or same day delivery options more often.

New behaviours have also been emerging with 22 per cent of respondents using click and collect for the first time and a quarter (25%) ordering meal kits to prepare at home for the first time.

However, it’s not just food for preparing at home that is rising in popularity, as nearly half (44%) ordered food online or via app from restaurants for home delivery more often and 40 per cent ordered food online or via app to pick up at restaurant more often.

This increase in online ordering is also causing a spike in the dominance of digital transactions with almost two thirds (64%) using online payments, such as PayPal, more often in the last 12 months. Almost a fifth (18%) also used such methods for the first time.

Growing Appetite for Online Grocery Shopping

While restrictions and lockdowns are temporary, some of these changes in patterns appear to be here to stay as people reveal what habits they will continue going forward. In fact, 92 per cent intend to continue ordering food online or via mobile apps for home delivery in the future.

Over three quarters (76%) also plan to keep shopping for groceries online for home delivery, while same day delivery is a preferred approach going forward for 80 per cent of respondents.

People are also seeing the benefits of different payment methods too, with 95 per cent saying they will use online payments going forward. Meanwhile, 76 per cent desire to use QR Codes for transactions in the future.

Joachim Goyvaerts, Director, Benelux & Ireland at PayPal, said: “Online grocery shopping has become a critical convenience for people, not only during a pandemic but as part of our regular, busy lives. E-commerce has always been about giving consumers a convenient way to buy what they want, when they want and being able to pay for that how they want. The grocery industry is ripe for disruption in this new digital economy. Part of the disruption will take place in how supermarkets and grocers choose to give their customers a seamless and safe shopping experience across all channels – online, mobile and in-store.”

Food Awakening

As for the driving forces behind these changing trends, some 62 per cent of respondents think shopping for groceries online helps to save time. Costs are also a key factor with 71 per cent looking for the best deals offered by different providers when placing online food or grocery orders.

Supporting local businesses and good causes is also proving important to Irish consumers, with 63 per cent preferring to shop through mobile apps or on websites that support stores in their neighbourhood and 62 per cent tending to choose products that are sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly.


About the study

Data is taken from a survey that PayPal commissioned to understand online grocery and food delivery trends across the UK and EU. This online survey was conducted by Maru/Matchbox between September 6th and September 13th, 2021, among 1,000 participants in Ireland, who were household decision makers who ordered their groceries online and/or ordered meal kits or food online from restaurants.


About PayPal
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 400 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit


Media Contacts

Malini Mitra,

Rebecca Hughes,

[1] PayPal commissioned an online survey conducted by Maru/Matchbox from September 6-13, 2021 among 1,000 participants in Ireland

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