Supermarkets are getting fresher

Wednesday, 06 February, 2019

Supermarkets are getting fresher

Australia’s total fresh food market has an annual retail value of $38.8 billion, but non-supermarkets are struggling with declining shares of this market, according to a report.

Roy Morgan’s ‘Supermarket & Fresh Food Currency Report-September 2018’ provides insights on Australia’s food and grocery market, comprising meat, bread, deli, fruit and vegetables, and seafood, based on interviews with over 50,000 consumers annually, including detailed questionnaires of over 12,000 grocery buyers.

It found that supermarkets currently hold 71.4% of the fresh food market, up from 69% 12 months ago and representing a continuation of a long-term trend. Fresh food retailers outside of the supermarkets, on the other hand, account for only 28.6%, which is a major decline from the 31% 12 months ago.

Woolworths and Aldi showed the biggest gains over the last year, with Woolworths having a market share gain in fresh food of 1% points (to 27.4%), compared to a gain of 0.6% points for Coles (to 24.6%). This was followed by Aldi, which was up 0.8% points to 9.8%, and then IGA on 6%.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan, said: “The battle to be Australia’s ‘fresh food’ leader has heated up in recent years as Coles has mounted a challenge to the long-standing ‘fresh food people’ at Woolworths. Although Coles has generally closed the gap on its rival over recent years, Woolworths has again increased its lead over the last 12 months. These big two now capture 52% of Australia’s $39 billion fresh food market, up from 50.4% 12 months ago.”

Butchers struggled the most out of the smaller fresh food retailers, with a decline of 1.1% points to 7%, followed by fruit shops, down 0.7% points to 6.7%. Morris said the competition between the bigger companies could be to blame.

“The disruption to Australia’s supermarket duopoly caused by the entrance of new competitors including Aldi, and in the near future Kaufland, Lidl and Amazon Fresh, is driving the current market leaders Coles and Woolworths to step up their game and increase their market share ahead of this increased competition. We have already seen that this intense competition among the majors is squeezing out the smaller specialty retailers, particularly butchers and fruit shops, who are losing the most market share,” he said.

Top image: ©Art Allianz/Dollar Photo Club

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