The onward march of the Chinese consumer continues, with China overtaking the U.S. as the biggest grocery market in the world in 2011, according to new research out of the United Kingdom.
The Chinese grocery sector was worth $970 billion (607 billion pounds) at the end of 2011, while the U.S. market came in at $913.5 billion (572 billion pounds), research by food industry analysts IGD showed.
The figures come at a time of widespread food price inflationas well as rapid economic growth in China, which is now the world’s second-largest economy as well as the most populous country. The analysts believe the gap between spending by Chinese and American consumers on groceries will widen over the next few years, with the market for groceries in China reaching 918 billion pounds by 2015.
The leap has been driven by food price inflation as well as economic growth, as soft commodities such as wheat surged in response to increased demand from China and other emerging markets. The Chinese are moving from a diet based around rice and pork to embrace dairy products, wheat, grains, white and red meat, which has helped boost prices around the world.
The four BRIC countries— Brazil, Russia, India and China — are expected to make up four of the top five grocery markets by 2015.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page