A study by Greenfield Online has found online grocers owe quite a debt to affluent, experienced Internet users. The report finds those users are fueling the significant growth in online grocery shopping.

Of 3,000 surfers surveyed, nearly 40% had visited an online grocery website. One in five has purchased groceries online within a 30-day period. Even more promising for online grocers is the growing willingness to shop on the web. Some 50% are at least very likely to buy groceries online in the future--quite an increase from the 10% figure reported in a similar survey just six months earlier.

The majority spent more than $150 per month on groceries in stores, but the online shoppers spent under $50 at virtual grocers. Visitors to the sites were primarily there to price shop.

Greenfield's study found a direct relation between household income and the likelihood of visiting an online grocery store. The highest percentage of grocery website visitors had household incomes of $75,000 or more.

Other studies, however, show households with incomes of $70,000 or more are least likely to spend on food at home. If middle- and low-income families gain trust in online grocers, what could this mean for the potential of online grocers?

For more information on the Greenfield Online report, write in 214 on the reader reply card.