EUROPE: Grocery Market Grows At Lowest Level On Record

Spending by European consumers on everyday items in the second quarter of the year rose by the lowest level on record, according to new Nielsen retail performance data.

The report found that prices paid for FMCGs rose just 0.7% year-on-year, whilst volumes rose 0.1% – the lowest level for over two years. Consequently, grocers saw a 0.8% increase in takings at the till – the lowest ever figure since measurement began in the final quarter of 2008.

Across the 21 European countries measured, Turkey had the highest growth in takings at the tills (+8.9%), followed by Norway (+3.5%) and Sweden (+3.2%). At the other end of the scale, the biggest declines were in Greece (-7.2%) and Finland (-4.6%).

Of the big five western European markets, Spain (+2.1%) had the highest growth, followed by Italy (+1.2%). The UK had its worst performance for nearly two years (-1.6%), having the lowest growth among this group and the third lowest among all 21 countries.

Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, Nielsen’s European director of retail insights, noted: “The historically low performance across Europe is driven by two factors. The negative effect of Easter not occurring in Q2 this year but doing so last year, however, more significantly, the very low growth in France and Germany and the noticeable decline in the UK which is being driven by fierce price competition among the retailers. Southern Europe was often to blame for Europe’s poor performance but it’s currently doing quite well whilst northern Europe is today’s problem child.”

NAM Implications:
  • In other words, flat-line economies throughout, with some exceptions…
  • Suppliers and retailers need to find ways of optimising the realities of this context
  • ..or suffer the consequences of being taken over by those who can…
  • It is not ‘doom & gloom’, merely working within what has become a real world…
  • …populated by savvy consumers that are unwilling to accept anything less that demonstrable value for money…

 

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