Trade Resources Industry Views China to Retain as The Largest Grocery Market

China to Retain as The Largest Grocery Market

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According to recent projections compiled before the recent China stock exchange meltdown, Chinese grocery had been set to grow by a third between now and 2020 and reach US$1.5tn per year, according to the UK’s Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD). China is nonetheless expected to comfortably retain its position as the largest grocery market although others will grow faster.

Highlights from IGD’s latest sales projections include, by 2020:

The grocery sector in India will grow by nearly 80% and be worth just over US$900bn

Nigeria’s grocery market will achieve the fastest growth of the largest markets, increasing in value by 85% to hit just over US$300bn
The other ‘MINT’ countries (Mexico, Indonesia,Nigeria and Turkey) will also experience rapid growth – grocery sales in Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey will increase by nearly 40%, 63% and 61% respectively

Indonesia’s grocery market will be worth almost as much as the UK’s (ranked 7th in the world); US$351bn and US$352bn respectively

“Although growth prospects appear limited in Europe at the moment, this is a time of tremendous opportunity for grocery companies further afield,” said Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD Chief Executive.

“The vast majority of global grocery growth will come from Asia, Africa and the Middle East supported by increasing affluence, urbanisation, and rising population. With many European products and brands highly regarded in these regions, this will be a boom time for companies with export skills,” said Denney-Finch.

“China will maintain its position as the world’s biggest grocery market for the foreseeable future,” Denney-Finch said. “Although the Chinese growth rate is slowing, it’s still very impressive, particularly in ‘tier three and four cities’. These are regional, medium-income cities, undergoing rapid development. There are many more opportunities for retailers and Western brands. For example, online grocery will enjoy explosive growth in China, though from a modest base, tripling in size between now and 2020. This will be powered by more Chinese having access to the internet through smartphones and other devices.”


“While traditional stores will continue to take the lion’s share of the Indian grocery market, consumer spending per capita in real terms will grow faster in the subcontinent than in any of the top grocery markets,” said Denney-Finch. “Combined with an expanding working-age population this will support the growth of modern convenience and supermarket retailing. Retailers are also rapidly setting up online grocery services hoping to tap into the potential of India’s half a billion smartphone users. Despite restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI), international retailers continue to see the potential of investing in India.”

“If the expected effects of inflation are stripped out, then India would be the fastest growing of the largest grocery markets while most of the MINT countries would also appear higher up the growth rankings.” 

Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (MINTs)

“Nigeria is the fastest growing of all large scale grocery markets with a rapidly expanding economy, population and middle class,” said Denney-Finch. “It does, however, face significant challenges such as the need to improve security and limited infrastructure in some regions.”

“The other ‘MINT’ markets will also expand rapidly. Indonesia in particular benefits from a fast-growing and youthful population and there is a lot of focus on convenience stores to make the most of how this group shops.”

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China Remains Top Grocery Market, India Among Fastest Growing