March 5, 2018
E-commerce is poised to disrupt where food is stored and how it gets to our homes. The U.S. currently has approximately 3.6 billion cubic feet of food-commodity cold storage capacity covering 180 million sq. ft. of industrial space, and 2 billion cubic feet of similar capacity covering 300 million sq. ft. of retail space. States with the most food-commodity industrial cold storage space tend to be near major food producers and population centers, with California, Washington and Florida being the largest, according to the USDA.
While online grocery sales represented only $19 billion or about 3% of total grocery sales in 2017, they're poised to reach $100 billion (13%) by 2024, according to FMI/Nielsen. Depending on the property type used to fulfill online grocery sales, up to 35 million sq. ft. of cold storage for food distribution could be shifted from retail to industrial properties.