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Fresh food and confectionery driving Western European grocery growth

Between them, fresh food and confectionery/snacks accounted for 61% of the growth in the grocery market across Western Europe last year, according to Nielsen retail performance data released today.

Consumers spent €4.3 billion more on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) at grocery retailers across the nine* major Western European markets in 2016 than in 2015 – a growth of 0.9%. Fresh foods accounted for €1.6bn (38%) of the overall growth, followed by confectionery/snacks (€1.0bn, 23%) and alcoholic beverages (€849 million, 20%). Consequently, these three categories alone accounted for 80% of increased grocery spend in 2016.

“Fresh food and confectionery’s growth were primarily driven by consumers buying more items, whilst alcohol’s was mainly driven by paying higher prices,” said Olivier Deschamps, Senior Vice President Retailer Services Europe. “Interesting to see this significant growth coming from fresh food: fresh is clearly a strong focus for retailers, in order to attract shoppers and have a positive impact on their image. In terms of sub-categories, fresh meals, beer, fresh fruit & vegetables and mineral water contributed the most to the grocery sector’s overall growth.”

Who’s driving the growth?

Manufacturers outside the 10 biggest players accounted for 70% of the growth in the Western European grocery market, whilst retailers’ own label brands accounted for the other 30%. The Top 10 saw a €430 million decline in consumer spend.

Manufacturers outside the top 10 now have a 46.6% market share, followed by own label (36%) and the Top 10 (17.4%).

Half of the growth (€2.2bn) in the overall grocery market was due to promotional items which “retailers increasingly used in 2016 to great success to encourage shoppers to add more items to their shopping baskets which was a major factor in the sector’s growth.”

For a full look at the major drivers of growth within each country
click on the image below to view a larger image of this chart.


*The nine Western European countries covered are the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria and Portugal.

Here is a link to the report.

About Nielsen Strategic Planner

Nielsen Strategic Planner is an harmonised database including measurement data from 9+ European markets, covering FMCG sales in grocery, hypermarket, supermarket, discount and convenience channels. Which allows analysis of overall market dynamics in the FMCG sector through categories sales, but also promotions trends and performances of players (Own labels and A-brands) in each market covered.

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.