Ken Research announced its latest publication on, “Food and Grocery Retailing in Belgium-Market Summary & Forecasts; Comprehensive overview of the market, consumer, and competitive context, with retail sales value and forecasts to 2020”, offer insights on the changing trends and key issues within the Food & Grocery Retail Market in Belgium.The publication includes an insightful analysis of changing consumer behavior, changing economic and demographic factors, technology innovations, leading domestic and international players, distribution channels and regulatory framework within which the Food & Grocery Retail Market in Belgium operates. The analysis of the aforementioned trends for major Food & Grocery categories: drinks, household products, packaged food, tobacco and unpackaged food; for their sales through leading distribution channels such as Convenience Stores, Food and drinks specialists, Hypermarkets, supermarkets and hard-discounters, Value, variety stores and general merchandise retailers, General retailers, Specialist retailers, Value retailers, Online; has been done from 2010 to 2020.
Brief Overview of the Food & Grocery Retail Market in Belgium
With changing consumer lifestyle and improvement in macroeconomic factors all over the world, global retail market has been witnessing consistent surge in demand and consequent boom in its growth rate. But ill-fated retail sector in Belgium experienced slowdown due to contraction of the economy. Low GDP growth and low inflation adversely affected the retailing in the country. However, the scenario is improving as the economy has started to recover over last two years. Increasing exports & investment in the country is further reinforcing the growth.
Improving economic outlook along with rising disposable income & falling unemployment has boosted consumer confidence leading to increased consumer spending in every retail product category market. The most benefitted category has been the Food & Grocery category. It is the largest product category of the retail market, accounting for 59.8% of total retail sales. In 2015, it has a market value of EUR41.8 billion. The product market has seen significant increase in per capita expenditure. Increased demand induced by steady economic improvement has encouraged the retail companies to look for ways to increase their market share. They have switched to smaller & cheaper product offerings. Also, due to low level of competition in the market, price-war has been a prevalent strategy adopted by them. Regarding the distribution landscape, convenience trend among retailers along with Belgium society having smaller apartments & single-parent families, has led the convenience stores to dominate the distribution channel. However, with increasing internet and mobile penetration in the society, online retailing has been growing with record double-digit growth. Hence, overall a positive Food & Grocery retail environment is prevailing in the country.
Key Factors Driving Growth in Belgium’s Food & Grocery Retail Market
Although economy’s contraction hit the retail market adversely in the past; today with economic recovery and improved macroeconomic scenario, both demand side and supply side factors are induced in a way leading to growth & expansion of the retail market. Hence key factors driving growth of the Food & Grocery retailing in Belgium include both consumer side factors and the strategies of the retailers.
With economic recovery, rising disposable income & falling unemployment, consumer retail product consumption and hence retail spending is increasing. Improving economy, along with increasing exports & investment has also boosted consumer confidence further increasing the retail spending. Belgium favourable demography is also a contributing factor to increasing demand. Improving labor market and inflationary conditions are making the environment conducive for growth.
Retailers are also strategizing their business actions to achieve maximum market penetration given the increasing demand for Food & Grocery products. As per consumer need belonging to different income class of the society, smaller and cheaper offerings are being made, expected to significantly drive the market in future. Price-war among retailers though a big challenge for the growth of the market in value terms, at least expands the market as per volume sales growth.
Apart from consumer & suppliers’ actions, increasing inbound tourists offering growth opportunities in retail sector.
Future of Belgium’s Food & Grocery Retail Market
After experiencing slowdown during the years of contraction; with economic recovery the Food & Grocery retail market scenario is improving and paints an optimistic picture for the future of the market over the forecast period (2015-2020). Food and grocery retail market is forecasted to grow posting CAGR of 1.89% over 2015-2020, reaching value of EUR45.9 billion by 2020. Per capita expenditure on Food & Grocery is also expected to increase to EUR4,012.9 by 2020. Convenience stores, also called as ‘second refrigerators’, expected to dominate the distribution channel as the convenience trend continues to prevail among retailers. On the other hand, online sales are expected to grow, registering CAGR of 10.37% over the forecast period.
However, maturity of the market and price-war among retailers may challenge the growth of the market in coming years. Hence, dealing with them& nullifying their impact may become important for the growth of the market to its full potential.
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