Food & Beverage

The retail landscape has become extremely competitive with high pressure coming from multiple retail formats. Traditional grocers operate in the same market as hard discount stores, while physical stores benefit from new technologies and online channels. Mixing in-store grocery purchases with online orders, consumers can create their own unique and personal shopping experience.
Food retail is changing along with key shifts in consumer behavior. An example of this is the surge of pre-portioned food or meal kits, which can be purchased in stores or subscribed to online for home delivery, allowing consumers to recreate the restaurant experience at home. Home delivery of groceries is likewise becoming a competitive space where retailers and third-party services battle to offer the lowest fees and quickest delivery times.

Leading retailer worldwide for edible groceries
Leading supermarket in the United States
The Kroger Co.
Leading company in the food retail sector in Europe

Market size

How is food retail growing?
Estimated value of global store-based and e-commerce sales in the edible grocery category in 2021 and 2026 (in billion U.S. dollars)
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Edible grocery sales were valued at roughly 2.8 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021 and are expected to grow by almost 600 billion by 2026. More and more of food retail sales are expected to occur online in the coming years as well. 2021 saw e-commerce sales at 174 billion dollars, about six percent of total sales. This figure is set to grow by over 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.

Number of stores of the leading supermarkets in the U.S.
U.S. supermarket sales growth in 2019, by department
Food and beverage store monthly sales in the U.S.

Market segments

Supermarkets remain king in food retail
Food and beverage retail store sales in the United States from 2018 to 2020, by format (in million U.S. dollars)
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Supermarkets and grocery stores account for the vast majority of retail food and beverage sales and their share of the market seems to be growing. In 2020, supermarkets and grocery accounted for nearly 86 percent of the market. Meanwhile, specialty food and convenience stores are losing market share. The beginning of the pandemic hit convenience stores particularly hard as consumers consolidated their shopping trips and more often chose larger retailers that had delivery and pickup options.

U.S. convenience stores
Online grocery in the UK
Alcoholic beverage retailers in Nordic countries

Industry trends

2020 made omnichannel king
Distribution of omnichannel services offered by grocery retailers in the United States in 2020
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The higher operational capacity of large grocery retail groups has been essential to adjust to the rollercoaster of consumer goods demand during the pandemic. Additionally, large chains are able to provide omnichannel services like mobile shopping apps or home delivery. For consumers, the use of smartphones while shopping can offer additional benefits like e-coupons and convenient payment options.

BOPIS grocery sales in the U.S.
Benefits offered by mobile devices according to U.S. grocery retailers
Shopping channels used for grocery purchases before vs. during COVID-19

Industry leaders

Traditional retailers and newcomers
Share of net sales value of Kroger in 2020 with a forecast for 2025, by channel
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Kroger is the main supermarket banner in the United States, generating 78.5 billion U.S. dollars from the sales of edible grocery products. In Europe, Schwarz-Gruppe and Tesco are the main multinational groups, operating in several retail sectors besides food and beverage. Other leading grocery retailers include the French retailer Carrefour and the Germany-based hard discount supermarket Aldi, which has been steadily increasing its number of U.S. stores.

UK's favorite supermarkets
Tesco PLC
Number of Carrefour stores worldwide

Industry definition

The food & beverage retail category includes statistics on retail distribution channels and purchase locations including mass merchandisers, supermarkets, bakeries, and confectioners, as well as stores selling alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and liquor.
In addition to key performance indicators describing the performance and profitability of physical grocery stores, the category also presents financial highlights and business results of main retail companies. Besides this, it provides survey data about the general attitude of consumers towards grocery shopping.

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