China surpassed the U.S. in 2011 as world's largest grocery market, worth £607B versus U.S.'s £572B; by 2015, Brazil, Russia, China and India will be among world's top five grocery markets: IGD

LONDON , April 4, 2012 (press release) – China has overtaken the United States (US) as the world’s biggest food and grocery retail market, according to the latest research published today (Wednesday) by IGD.

According to the findings:

The Chinese grocery sector was worth £607bn at the end of 2011, while the US market came in at £572bn over the same period – the second largest in the world
By 2015, the Chinese market is forecast to be worth £918bn compared to a US value of £675bn
Between 2011 and 2015, the US grocery retail market should see growth accelerating to reach a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2%, but China’s rate will be double this at 10.9% over the same period
All the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations will be in the top five grocery markets by 2015, with India displacing Japan as the world’s third largest grocery market by value
The UK grocery market will be the eighth largest in the world by 2015, worth £162bn, and achieving a CAGR of 3.2% between 2011 and 2015

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “China’s grocery growth story is phenomenal. Between 2006 and 2015, the Chinese grocery market is forecast to triple in value and to be worth nearly a trillion pounds. This rapid expansion has been fuelled by three main factors: rapid economic growth, population and rising food inflation.

“Despite its various logistical and bureaucratic challenges, China is a crucial growth market for many of the world’s largest grocery retailers. Even beyond the major cities there are huge opportunities: forecasts suggest there will be over 200 Chinese cities with a population over a million people by 2025. But given China’s size and diversity, it’s essential not to treat the country as one homogenous market.

“All the BRIC nations have been steadily increasing in value and by 2015 they are tipped to dominate the top five grocery slots, and many UK food and grocery companies are already pursuing this opportunity.

“In the UK, we expect the online sector to perform well, with internet sales boosted by the increasing use of smartphones and tablet computers. Convenience stores, with their increased focus fresh food and tailoring the store depending on local demand, are also expected to be key performer.”


2015 Forecasts



£ bn



£ bn


China 607 1 China 918


US 572 2 US 675


Japan 254 3 India 385


India 244 4 Russia 292


Brazil 212 5 Brazil 287


Russia 198 6 Japan 263


France 187 7 France 206


Germany 144 8 UK 162


UK 143 9 Germany 148
10 Italy 113 10 Indonesia 147
11 Indonesia 100 11 Italy 116
12 Spain 84 12 Mexico 92
13 Mexico 74 13 Spain 88


Canada 69 14 Canada 82
15 Australia 63 15 Turkey 74
  1. Values quoted are nominal, reflecting differing inflation forecasts at market level.
  2. Forecasts are at constant exchange rates based on 2011 actual exchange rates.
  3. IGD Grocery Retail Market Sizes are calculated using a single, global methodology. IGD defines the grocery retail market as all food, drink and non-food products (e.g. health & beauty, pet care, clothing, DIY) sold through all retail outlets selling predominantly food in a given country.
  4. This definition includes modern retail formats, such supermarkets and hypermarkets, and traditional retail formats such as open air markets and traditional food stores such as bakers. It excludes Cash & Carry operations; drugstores/pharmacies and sales tax.
  5. IGD market sizes are 'top down', derived from national statistical bodies wherever possible. In all other cases, our market sizes represent IGD estimates and are based on a consistent methodology and knowledge of local markets.

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