In the fourth quarter of 2017, European consumers spent an additional 4.4 % on groceries, the highest increase since 2012. Benelux volumes are under pressure though.
The 4.4 % increase in expenses is because of a 1.8 % volume increase and a 2.6 % price increase, according to Nielsen’s calculations which were based on food retailers’ data in 21 European countries. Belgian prices grew 2.1 % and volumes dropped 0.3 % in the fourth quarter, leading to an overall 1.8 % volume increase for the FMCG market. Dutch prices grew 3.2 % and volumes dropped 0.3 %, leading to a 2.9 % overall growth.
Turkey experienced the strongest growth (+ 16.8 %), followed by Hungary (+ 8.2 %) and Slovakia (+ 7.5 %). Switzerland (+ 1.6 %), Finland (+ 1.7 % and Belgium (+ 1.8 %) have performed the weakest. Looking at Western Europe’s largest five markets, Spain performed best (+ 5.3 %), followed by the United Kingdom (+ 4 %). France was the weakest out of the five, with a + 2.8 % increase.
Strong local brands
Nielsen forecasts a positive future: “After several difficult years, we have seen a dynamic economic situation across Europe, with positive consumer trust and record turnover in several countries”, Olivier Deschamps said. The Senior Vince President Retailer Services Europe added that “this contributed to a strong year for supermarkets, a remarkable feat considering consumers look for the best deals and prefer the discounters more.”