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European FMCG sales volume rises for sixth straight quarter

London, 16 November 2015. The volume of FMCG products such as soft drinks, toiletries and food purchased across Europe increased year-on-year for the sixth consecutive quarter, according to the latest data from global information and insights company Nielsen.

In the third quarter of 2015, FMCG sales volume across Europe increased 1.3%. The growth in volumes was accompanied by a 1.7% rise in prices paid. Consequently, takings at the tills rose 3.0%.

In Q3, Turkey continued to experience, by far, the highest nominal year-on-year sales growth (+12.4%) among the 21 European countries measured, followed by Austria (+5.9%) and Hungary (+5.8%).

Only three European countries experienced a decline in nominal growth – Switzerland (-1.5%), Finland (-0.9%) and the UK (-0.3%).

Of the big five western European markets, Spain (+3.0%) had the highest nominal growth, followed by Germany (+2.3%). 

Value changes

Turkey (9.5%) was the only one of the 21 European countries measured to experience price rises above 3%; only a further three (Sweden, Norway and Austria) saw prices rise above the 21-country average (1.7%). However, only five suffered price deflation.

Volume changes

For the first time in over a year, Turkey did not experience the largest increase in sales volume – Poland (5.0%) led the way, followed by Hungary (4.3%) and Austria (3.9%). The UK and Finland (both -0.5%) were the only two to experience a decline in sales volume.

“The last year has been characterised by stable price evolution and climbing volumes, so things are certainly heading in the right direction – in most countries,” says Nielsen’s European director of retail insights Jean-Jacques Vandenheede. “The one big blip on the European radar, however, is the UK, where a heavy and sustained price war by the supermarkets – to combat the rise of the discounters – is hitting takings at the tills. This shows little sign of abating and is likely to continue well into 2016.”


Unit Value Change = the change in the price paid by a shopper for a unit (item), as a result of price inflation, and/or the shopper substituting a unit of one value for a unit of a different value.

Nominal Value Growth (or the change in takings at the tills) = Unit Value Change + Volume Change

About the Nielsen Growth Reporter

The Nielsen Growth Reporter compares overall market dynamics (value and unit growth) in the FMCG sector across Europe. It is based on the sales measurement that Nielsen performs in 21 European markets, and covers sales in grocery, hypermarket, supermarket, discount and convenience channels. It’s based on the widest possible basket of product categories that are continuously measured by Nielsen in each of these countries and channels.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Alex Burmaster
Meteor Public Relations
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Neil Beston
PR Director, UK & Europe
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