Food retail makes up an enormous part of the food trade industry, with types of business including branches such as discounters, traditional food retail, hypermarkets, drugstores, department and general stores. A grocery store is an example of a traditional food retail establishment, while hypermarkets occupy much more space than supermarkets and offer other products besides food items. In the last decade, the number of food retail stores in Germany has been dropping year after year. One of the reasons for this is the expansion of online grocery shopping.
Some of the best-known brands in German food retail are Aldi and Lidl among discounters, then Edeka and Rewe among supermarkets. In private households, consumer spending on food grew steadily in the last decade, amounting to almost 162 billion euros in 2019, based on preliminary figures. As far as alcoholic beverages were concerned, spending fluctuated somewhat in recent years, but began to increase again after 2014. When breaking down revenue among food retailers by type of business, discounters recorded the highest figures. Over time, consumer prices for certain food products in Germany changed, with meat, fish and bread products all becoming more expensive.
In the last three years, some food product groups were consistent bestsellers. These were pasta, chocolate bars, salty snacks, frozen poultry, meat and fish. During spring 2020, certain food products saw sales grow explosively due to panic buying after the coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic. The food trade is already undergoing changes due to the rise of online food retail, not just for specific, less available or international products, but also for routine grocery shopping. The spread of the coronavirus has increased demand for online purchases and deliveries, with some supermarkets relying on their already established online shops and delivery services. The leading online grocery shopping destinations in Germany are amazon.de and hellofresh.de