Europe grocery sales rise for fifth quarter but UK lags behind

Kasmira Jefford
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THE VOLUME of everyday products bought by consumers across Europe has increased year-on-year for the fifth consecutive quarter, with the UK standing out as the only one of the big five western European countries to post a decline.

Data from research giant Nielsen released today showed sales volumes of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), such as soft drinks, toiletries and food, rose by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter.

This was a slowdown on the previous three months when sales rose by 2.4 per cent which marked the highest level since 2006.

Prices rose by 1.7 per cent with total till takings growing by 2.4 per cent. Of the five major European markets, Spain had the highest nominal growth at two per cent, while the UK was the only one to experience a decline of 0.8 per cent.

“Price evolution is very stable, with the prices being paid at the tills about 1.7 per cent higher year-on-year for each of the last four quarters,” Nielsen director Jean Jacques Vandenheede said.

“With volumes continuing to climb… the picture for the rest of 2015 looks encouraging for grocery retailers,” he added.