A surge in online grocery shopping is intensifying demand for food-storage warehouses, sparking billions of dollars in new real-estate development.

Shopping for groceries online was taking off even before the pandemic. Services like Amazon Fresh, FreshDirect and Misfits Market offered a convenient alternative to the supermarket. Demand soared when people started worrying that they could catch Covid-19 on a trip to the store.

Now, companies like Americold Realty Trust and Lineage Logistics LLC are building or preparing to break ground on tens of millions of square feet of temperature-controlled warehouses that can store meat, dairy products, produce and other perishables.

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