Moody's Investors Service said last week that it doesn't think online grocers pose a significant threat to brick-and-mortar stores, pointing out that the online grocery business accounted for only 0.5% of the overall grocery spend last year.
The company believes online sales are not likely to grow to more than 1% to 1.5% of grocery sales over the next five years.
"Online grocery shoppers skew toward households with annual income of $100,000 or more, " said Moody's. "For most people, home delivery of fresh food is too expensive."
Moody's added that "the logistical challenges associated with delivering perishables and fresh food at a reasonable profit and at a cost that is attractive to price-sensitive and skittish consumers is a major barrier for both aspiring entrants and existing food retailers."