Despite global economic uncertainty and slowing GDP growth, annual packaged grocery sales in Asia Pacific increased 13 percent in the past year while volume sales increased by six percent, according to Nielsen’s 2012 Retail and Shopper Trends Report.
The latest installment of the annual Nielsen report, which identifies key trends and market shifts in the grocery sector in Asia Pacific, reveals that grocery prices remain a point of contention for consumers across Asia Pacific, ranking in their top-five concerns. In response to rising grocery prices, many consumers are adopting a cautious approach to spending, which has led to smaller, but more frequent trips to the grocery store.
Shoppers continue to steadily shift their grocery shopping to modern trade channels (up approximately one percent per annum for the past decade), as they embrace the wider range, better shopping environment and lower prices these channels offer. Modern-trade-store numbers increased by 11 percent in the past year, to over 270,000. And investments in new, modern trade stores were the strongest in Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. Convenience-store numbers also experienced strong growth in the past year, up 10,000 to over 81,000, with the fastest expansion in convenience stores seen in South Korea. Consequently, the convenience channel saw the fastest growth of any store format in the region, up 15 percent.
Modern grocery trade store numbers by format in Asia Pacific (% annual growth)
The Nielsen report found that private-label brands remain relatively undeveloped in Asia and contribute less than eight percent of sales in modern trade outlets. Growth of private label brands was highest in Taiwan, Korea and Indonesia, with sales increasing by over 20 percent. Sales of private-label products are beginning to gain traction in basic grocery categories-- such as paper products, plastic wraps and water-- and staples, like rice, and cooking products, where a low price is more important to shoppers. Private-label growth in Asia is hindered by low levels of consumer trust in categories where there is strong brand loyalty.
Annual growth rate (2011), total market versus private label
Analysis by Nielsen’s Retailer Services and Shopper Insights teams has identified five key trends influencing the grocery retail sector in Asia Pacific, including:
Click here to find out more about Nielsen’s 2012 Asia Pacific Retail and Shopper Trends report, or contact a member of our Client Service team if you are interested in purchasing a copy of the report.