BRACKNELL, England, October 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
New report reveals value sales down in half of countries measured but overall food and non-food are growing, +0.5% and +0.7% respectively
Ongoing price wars in countries like the UK, France, Greece and Spain are keeping prices low, but are failing to ignite significant sales growth across the food sector in Europe. This is according to a new report - Price & Promotion in Western Europe: Encouraging signs of Recovery - examining price and promotion in FMCG across Europe from global insight leader, IRI.
While European economies start to recover, the report shows that prices for food products across Europe only saw a 0.3% rise last year, while non-food products hardly saw any change at all - up just 0.1% on volume price.
The value of food sales across Europe again increased slightly, by 0.5% to €276.3 billion. However, the report, launched today, reveals that for half of the countries measured food sales by value are down. The UK, Spain and Greece experienced the biggest falls, while France, Germany and Italy saw value sales go up. Sales by volume for food rose slightly by 0.2%.
Tim Eales, Director of Strategic Insight IRI, and co-author of the report, comments: "Despite strong evidence that European markets are starting to recover after several years of economic decline or stagnation, it seems that neither prices nor sales are recovering in line with these trends. To some extent, we are witnessing the ongoing impact of the price wars in the region, particularly markets like the UK and France. While lower prices suggest a better deal for shoppers, this is not necessarily translating into sales growth, with both value and volume sales across Europe showing only marginal increases."
Despite this general trend, the Price & Promotion report highlights that some categories have seen significant price rises, including alcoholic drinks, which showed a 2.6% price increase. However this also led to a 1.2% fall in volume sales over the year as a result.
Are promotions paying off?
The IRI report also indicates that promotional activity is fairly static, with the proportion of product sales on promotion only increasing by 0.5 points to 28.7% for food and remaining static (at 0.1 points) at 28.1% for non-food items across Europe. While across the region promotions vary, the UK continues to lead Europe when it comes to promotional reliance with more than half of all goods sold on promotion (54.6% by volume).
According to IRI's analysis, while Germany had only 13.2% of the volume of goods on promotion, it still saw a 3.4% rise in value sales and a 2.3% rise in volume sales. However, in the UK, more than half of all goods are on promotion, but both the volume and value of sales fell - down 1.5% and 1.6% respectively - as a consequence of the price war driven by the growth of the hard discounters.
IRI's Tim Eales, adds: "When it comes to predicting consumer behaviour around price and promotions, it seems the challenge to understand how shoppers are going to react to change is getting more difficult. During recessionary times, it is generally easy to forecast how consumers might respond to price changes or promotions, but it seems that across Europe as markets recover, behaviour - from both manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike - is getting more unpredictable than ever."
"The concern now is if countries like the UK continue to rely on this kind of promotional activity. We could see a very worrying pattern emerging, which brands will find it hard to recover from, with the danger of such high levels of promotion becoming further ingrained into the psyche of shoppers. It's clear though that for other markets, like Germany, promotions can be an effective growth driver when used selectively - i.e. as an incentive to persuade the customer to make an unusual purchase."
IRI's Price & Promotion in Western Europe: Encouraging signs of Recovery can be downloaded from any European IRI website at iriworldwide.com or click here. The report data was collated from six European markets, including the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Greece, from IRI Infoscan® retail databases; 52 weeks ending May 2015 versus the same period of the year before.
KEY REPORT FINDINGS
- Across Europe food sales by value rose by 0.5% to €276.3 billion, while non-food increased by 0.7% to €64.2 billion.
- For half of the countries measured, food sales by value are down - the UK, Spain and Greece witnessed heaviest food sales by value falls, while France, Germany and Italy registered increases. This pattern is reflected in non-food too which is the main change versus a year ago - although here fallers are Italy and Greece (both at -2.5%), as well as the UK
- Strongest growth is in Germany, where the value of sales for food and non-food in leading hypermarkets, supermarkets and drugstores have both grown by 3.4%, or 2.3 billion Euros.
- Volume sales across Europe increased by +0.3% (+0.2% for food and +0.6% for non-food) but declined or were relatively static in Italy, Greece and in the UK (where every category of both food and non-food has seen a decline in volume sales).
- Across Europe, product categories, including drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), frozen foods and pet food & care, showed volume decline, while all others increased.
- Prices across Europe for non-food products hardly saw any change - up just 0.1% on volume price, while food saw only a 0.3% rise.
- Some categories have seen price rises, with alcoholic drinks showing a 2.6% rise in prices. However this has led to a 1.2% fall in volume sales over the year as a result.
- Promotional activity was fairly static with the proportion of product sales on promotion only increasing by 0.5 points on last year to 28.7% for food and remaining static (+0.1 points) at 28.1% for non-food items across Europe. This equates to only a 0.4 points rise year-on-year.
IRI is a leader in delivering powerful market, consumer and media exposure information, predictive analytics and the foresight that leads to action. We go beyond the data to create growth for our clients in the FMCG, retail and over-the-counter health care industries by pinpointing what matters and illuminating how it can impact their businesses. Move your business forward at http://www.iriworldwide.com
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For further information please contact:
Amanda Hassall, Eureka Communications
Tel: +44(0)1420-564346; Mob: +44(0)7855-359889
Anne Lefranc, European Marketing Director at IRI