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4 Stocks to Buy on a Booming Online Grocery Market

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Online grocery sales picked up last year following the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, millions have made online shopping their habit. Things changed a bit from the beginning of this year after people once again started visiting stores as they got vaccinated and the economy started reopening.

However, fears of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and an astounding jump in new cases are once again making millions stay at home. And in a bid to keep the virus at bay, people are still relying heavily on e-commerce. This has seen online grocery sales picking up.

Rapid Growth for Online Grocery Sales

Grocery retails saw a jump in in-store traffic this summer but fears of the Delta variant of coronavirus pushed up online purchases again. Data on July shopping shows a sudden jump in grocery purchases after many big grocery retailers reported an uptick in in-store traffic in the previous two months.

According to the latest Brick Meets Click survey, a number of households purchasing grocery online jumped 5% to 66.5 million in July. Total online sales came in at $6.7 billion. Also, interest in grocery delivery apps rose in July after somewhat declining following the economic reopening. According to data from Apptopia, first-time download of apps for Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report) and Walmart, Inc. (WMT - Free Report) were on the rise in July.

Online Grocery Market to Grow

Although the vaccination drive is in full swing and people are a lot more confident, the pandemic is far from over. In fact, the virus is fast mutating and the Delta variant is a major cause of concern with new cases surging every day.

The pandemic has already changed the shopping habits of millions, with most now preferring to shop online. Moreover, groceries are necessities and people will continue buying them.

Experts believe that ecommerce is here to stay as the focus of grocery players has shifted to the online business. According to Mercatus, online grocery purchases will account for 21.5% or $250 billion of the total $1.16 trillion grocery market.

Our Choices

Given this situation, investing in grocery stocks with a strong online presence should lead to solid returns. We have picked four such stocks, each currently carrying either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Free Report) sells high volumes of foods and general merchandise (including household products and appliances) at discounted prices through membership warehouses. It is one of the largest warehouse club operators in the United States. The company also operates e-commerce websites in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 20%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 1.6% over the past 60 days. The company has a Zacks Rank #2.

Celsius Holdings Inc. (CELH - Free Report) specializes in commercializing healthier, nutritional functional foods, beverages and dietary supplements.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 63.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 38.5% over the past 60 days. Celsius Holdings sports a Zacks Rank #1.

SunOpta, Inc. (STKL - Free Report) is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food, supplements, and health and beauty markets. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved more than 100% over the past 60 days. SunOpta has a Zacks Rank #2.

J & J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF - Free Report) is an American manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded niche snack foods and frozen beverages for the food-service and retail supermarket industries.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 32.9% over the past 60 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2.