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In 2018 we’ve seen revolution, in payments and staffless stores. And we’ve seen evolution, as retailers enhance stores to make them more relevant to the shoppers of today and tomorrow.

Throughout the year we have been tracking these developments, innovations and trends. To help you, we have brought together our best-read insights to give you our view of how global grocery retailing is changing.


  • In our trends report at the beginning of 2018 we highlighted five trends we expected would develop and shape the global retail market this year. While these will remain relevant in the medium term, we have just published our 2019 version to help you prepare for next year



Learn more about 2019’s global retail trends: join our webcast

24 January, 10am GMT/11 am CET, 30mins

Listen in and ask your questions | IGD future thinkers, Toby Pickard, Vanessa Henry and Chris Irish, will discuss the global retail trends we expect to see in 2019, from the viewpoints of retail innovation, grocery shoppers and supply chain.

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If you have a specific business challenge or training requirement we can put together something just for you.

Get inspiration, innovation and insight. We’ll help you see the most innovative stores and understand what key retail trends mean for your business.

Our new grocery market size forecasts underline how the top 20 countries globally are set to sustain their growth to 2023. By the end of the five-year timeframe we see the 20 biggest grocery markets, growing by 28%, adding US$1.9tr in sales.

Asia leading growth outlook…

Asia’s growth will be broad based. The region will contain seven of the world’s largest grocery markets by 2023 and will have a combined market size of US$3.2tr. Despite China attracting a lot of attention, there will be strong support from Indonesia and Pakistan given the large local populations, improving levels of GDP per capita and the continued development and evolution of modern trade.

…With strong support coming from Europe and US

Europe will be the second most important region in terms of additional sales between 2018 and 2023 and is forecast to generate US$449.6bn in new sales. Five key countries – France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, UK – are set to account for nearly two-thirds of all additional sales generated between 2018 and 2023.

While the outlook for North America is for a comparatively low growth scenario, together Canada and the US will account for nearly 15% of the new sales generated by the top 20 markets globally. The size of the local market underlines its continued importance to retailers and manufacturers globally.

IGD Research

Despite growth, challenges remain

While the outlook for the global grocery market remains positive, challenges are likely to remain in many countries. These will be mainly driven by changing shopper choices of where and how they want to buy.

As a result, there will be a continued focus and investment in stores to make them relevant for tomorrow’s shoppers. There will also be a significant spending within the online grocery retail. The increasing pace of demand from shoppers and their increasing desire to buy little, more often is set to require an associated rise in spending on supply chains and fulfilment to make them more efficient.

Jon Wright

Jon Wright

Head of Retail Insight – EMEA

The global grocery retail landscape is changing fast, with significant growth opportunities for your business. Better understand the largest markets and how we see them growing and evolving to 2023.

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As we approach the end of 2018, we have reflected on some of the major changes we have seen in global retailing, and have predicted five key trends that we expect to develop and shape the global retail market over the next 12 months and beyond.

We believe we’ll see retailers and brands introduce numerous initiatives to address these trends in 2019:

  • Data dictates the way
  • Doing good is good business
  • Seamless stores
  • Help me be healthy
  • Anywhere, anytime

Data dictates the way

We expect to see more retailers using customer datasets, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning at store level to drive revenue and increase customer satisfaction.

Retailers will use ever-greater amounts of data about what’s selling, who’s shopping where, and inventory levels, to make more informed decisions. Some decision making will be solely done by AI.

To truly capitalise on the advantages of AI there will be a greater need than ever for retailers and manufacturers to share data, and work together on shopper-focused initiatives.

Kroger, US, can measure the impact of digital programmes and advertising through to purchase. It provides this data to the companies that are investing with it.

Source: IGD Research

Doing good is good business

During 2019, we believe retailers and brands will look to differentiate and set higher standards on sustainability topics.

They’ll want to show they have strong values, and that good deeds are just as important as profits.

The next wave of innovative and leading retailers and brands will move beyond reducing their impact. For example, by 2025 M&S wants to be the world’s leading retailer on engaging and supporting customers in sustainable living.

They will aim to create a positive impact on the environment and society. This could be a game-changer in public image terms, and help create loyalty.

Seamless stores

The physical store still has the advantage over online when it comes to shoppers being able to personally choose products, and impulse purchasing, and giving shoppers instant gratification from purchasing.

We expect to see stores boost their advantage over the online channel. They’ll add some of its capabilities, like using technology to make it easier to find items, gain more product information and receive rewards and promotions.

Retailers will innovate with technology to help the shopping trip, particularly to improve stock management and make shopping quicker and smoother.

Sam’s Club Now, US

This new club concept enables the retailer to test the latest tech-led initiatives and adapt the in-store layout.

‘Wayfinding and navigation’ is one new feature of its mobile app. By using voice search capabilities combined with navigation features, a map will pop up and take shoppers to the item they want.

Source: IGD Research

Help me be healthy

Most shoppers aspire to eat and live well but aspirations don’t always translate into action.

We believe shoppers will be more health conscious, and supporting them both to look and feel good will be a major priority for retailers and their suppliers.

We expect to see more retailers educating, informing and rewarding shoppers for living healthier lives.

Retailers and brands will use nudge behaviour techniques. They’ll positively reinforce and indirectly suggest ways to gently push shoppers towards a healthier lifestyle.

Migros, in Turkey, offers shoppers personalised discounts on the food group that they appear to be lacking, as a healthier living recommendation.

Source: Consumer Goods Forum

Anywhere, anytime

We expect new innovative social commerce solutions to emerge throughout 2019. Retailers and suppliers will deliver targeted marketing, and new ways to make online shopping more social, instantaneous, and convenient.

Shopping will become seamless and omnipresent. People will no longer need to visit a retailer’s online store. As they look at pictures, watch videos or TV they’ll be able to just add products to a shopping cart.

Facebook has launched its Marketplace in Singapore, where individuals can buy and sell items. C2C (consumer to consumer) commerce is a key component in the social shopping mix in many Asian countries.

Source: Facebook


The biggest trend of all in 2019 is likely to be the continuation of rapid and radical change within the food and grocery industry. Technology will enable change, and shoppers’ evolving expectations will drive it.

Can you keep up, or even lead the way? Can you create enhanced or new solutions to give customers what they want, when or even before they want it?

You could achieve extremely positive results, like more customers, higher sales and increased loyalty.

Retail Analysis subscribers can access the full Global retail trends 2019 report here

Non-subscribers can receive a free sample of our Global retail trends 2019 by registering here

1 IGD Shoppers of the Future
2 ShopperVista, Base: 1,721 British grocery shoppers, Dec’17
3 Digital In 2018, We Are Social, January 2018

Toby Pickard

Toby Pickard

Head of Insight – Innovation and Futures

Global retail trends 2019

What’s shaping the global retail market over the next 12 months and beyond?

Retail Analysis subscribers can access the full Global retail trends 2019 report here

Non-subscribers can receive a free sample of our Global retail trends 2019 by registering here

Get the latest industry news and insights straight to your inbox with our range of newsletters.


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View all presentations

In this presentation we look at the regional and country forecasts for grocery retailing to 2023. With the global grocery retail landscape changing fast, providing both opportunities and challenges for your business we look at the changes to our forecasts to help you better understand how we see them growing and evolving to 2023.

We’ve selected 16 innovative store concepts to visit in 2019 which showcase several of the latest trends shaping format development globally. These include the growing role of technology, underpinning both ecommerce and customer engagement, and the creation of immersive in-store experiences.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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