Convenience and discount retailers have been tipped to drive 15% growth in UK food and grocery sales over the next five years.
The food and grocery market will grow £28bn between now and 2022, according to grocery research organisation IGD. While £10bn of this growth will come from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, £7bn is expected to be through the convenience channel.
“There’s a revolution under way in food and grocery, in terms of what, how and where shoppers do their shopping,” said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.
“On average, shoppers say they use around 12 different stores every month – and in the future, we will have an even greater choice in what, where and how we buy our food. We’ll be more spontaneous, but also better planned.”
IGD found that shoppers would like to see larger stores introduce non-food concessions, local independent food stores and an ‘everyday’ aisle near the front of the store to enable speedier shopping.
Small stores had “enduring appeal”, said Denney-Finch, adding there are opportunities for c-stores to engage the younger generation
“There’s also a huge opportunity for food-to-go, with more than eight in 10 (83%) c-store shoppers saying they could be encouraged to buy more food-to-go at their main convenience store,” she said.
Online will be by far the fastest-growing channel in percentage terms, although may be slower than in previous periods as retailers also look to drive growth through their larger store and convenience formats.
IGD said use of subscription services for foods would increase, with a quarter of British shoppers stating that, in the next two to three years, they are likely to use an online subscription service to get their staples delivered.
“We expect to see the ‘digital native’ – those people who have grown up using technology in many aspects of their lives – help to sustain growth in the future, as they carry on shopping online for groceries and potentially convert others to do the same,” added Denney-Finch.
Four in 10 British shoppers said they had bought some of their food and groceries online in the past month, but that figure will rise to 60% in the next two to three years, said IGD.