Pandemic accelerates transformation of food and grocery industry, says IGD

Peeling off the layers

The UK food and grocery market is set to grow by 10% – or by £19.1bn to £211bn – between 2019 and 2022, according to the latest market and channel forecast research from UK research and training charity, IGD.

A new report from the analysts reveals the impact of Covid-19 on the overall market over the next three years, with a breakdown of expected implications and performance on individual channels.

The pandemic has accelerated the shift to online, a channel IGD expects to mostly retain the loyalty of new shoppers gained during the pandemic. Discount will, however, become the fastest-growing channel in 2021 and 2022, as shoppers looking to economise due to rising unemployment.

Pandemic accelerates transformation of food and grocery industry, says IGD

Graph source: IDG

Online: +£7.0bn / +59.2%, 2019-2022

  • Online market share will increase from 6.2% in 2019 to 8.9% in 2022
  • Online will be the fastest-growing channel in 2020, following dramatic increases in shopper numbers and bigger order sizes
  • The value of the online channel will overtake that of hypermarkets in 2020
  • Online will take £1 in every £11 spent on grocery in 2022.

Simon Wainwright, director of global insight at IGD, said: “While we expect growth to pause in 2021, it will later resume, with continuing expansion from Amazon and the launch of online operations by M&S through Ocado supplementing activity by the Big Four.”

Discount: +£6.3bn / +25.4%, 2019-2022

  • Discount market share will increase from 12.8% in 2019 to 14.6% in 2022
  • Discount will be the fastest-growing channel in 2021 and 2022
  • Aldi and Lidl’s rapid expansion is expected to continue
  • Some variety discounters will see rapid growth as they scale up their focus on grocery, with new openings from B&M and Home Bargains

Commenting on the discount channel, Wainwright said: “Store network expansion will enable this growth, with smaller store formats enabling Aldi and Lidl to boost their reach into urban areas and some variety discounters scaling up their grocery operations.”

Convenience: +£5.4bn / +13.2%, 2019-2022

  • Convenience market share will increase from 21.4% in 2019 to 22% in 2022
  • The channel benefitted significantly from meeting local shoppers’ needs during lockdown
  • Growth in the channel will moderate over the next two years

On the convenience channel, Wainwright said: “There is a key opportunity for stores that develop their role as destinations for local community needs going forward, but the slow recovery of trading in city centres and transient locations is likely to affect overall channel performance.”

Large stores: Supermarkets +£0.7bn/ +0.8%. Hypermarkets –£0.1bn/-0.3%, 2019-2022

  • Hypermarket market share will decrease from 8.4% in 2019 to 7.6% in 2022
  • Supermarket market share will decrease from 46.1% in 2019 to 42.3% in 2022
  • After a boost to sales in 2020 from the pandemic, supermarket growth will turn negative by 2022

Concluding with large stores, Wainwright said: “Retaining the loyalty of shoppers who switched to them at the start of the pandemic will be the priority for operators of large stores. Making stores easier to shop while also differentiating through their range and emphasising value will be vital as stores pivot towards more functional retailing.”

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