Steady growth in online grocery shopping was already driving demand for cold storage nationwide, but the Covid-19 pandemic will accelerate that trend and contribute to even greater demand over the next five years, according to a report from commercial real estate giant CBRE.
CBRE estimates that an additional 75 million to 100 million square feet of industrial freezer/cooler space will be needed to meet demand generated by online grocery sales by 2025. Researchers add that the trend will have five long-term effects on the market:
“Until recently, consumers were not ordering a lot of perishables online, but that will likely change in a post-Covid-19 environment,” Matthew Walaszek, associate director of industrial and logistics research for CBRE, said in a statement announcing the new research. “Now, we are seeing consumers trend toward buying foods online such as frozen meats and poultry. To meet this new demand, we will need more temperature-controlled space.”