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Food retail industry

Research guide

Published: 25 Jun 2019 Updated: 21 Jun 2022 Update History

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Contents

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Trends and forecasts

Online articles

The library provides full access to articles from leading business, finance and management journals.

Access to articles is provided subject to suppliers’ terms of use.

Croner-i Business Focus

Business Focus is a resource that provides Industry Snaphots for a range of sectors. These contain an overview of developments, trends and statistics for the industry together with an outlook for the future. Sectors covered include food and drink retail.

To find out more about Business Focus, please contact our enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com.

Useful links

Food and drink report 2021-2022
Research carried out by Waitrose & Partners highlighting the top food and drink trends of 2021 and expected trends for 2022.

Retail outlook for 2022
White paper from KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank on the outlook for the UK retail sector in 2022. Discusses trends shaping the sector and provides a prediction of retail sector growth in 2022. Published in December 2021.

Vulnerabilities of Supply Chains Post-Brexit
Study by LSE Consulting, commissioned by Arla Foods, on the vulnerability of the UK and EU food industry supply chains when the Brexit transition period ends. Considers a range of potential disruptors with the impact on trade, prices, product availability and labour estimated for both no-deal and Free Trade Agreement scenarios. Published in September 2020.

COVID-19 resource centre
Hub from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) providing resources and guidance for retailers with regard to Covid-19.

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Industry profiles and SWOT analyses

Industry profiles give an overview of market size in different countries or regions, the competitive landscape and provide a forecast of market performance. These profiles are available exclusively for ICAEW members and ACA students through the Library & Information Service.

Regional reports

Africa

Asia

Europe

Latin America

North America

Oceania

Reports for other sectors within food retail are also available, including:

SWOT analyses examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for major companies operating in this sector are available.

If you experience any problems accessing these resources, please see our online resources troubleshooting FAQ.

Other market research specialists

Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.

Euromonitor
A full listing of reference products and research reports for many sectors within the retailing sector (including grocery retailers and supermarkets) from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

IBISWorld
Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors. Topics include supermarkets; fruit and vegetable retailers; meat and meat product retailing; specialised seafood retailers; and bakery product retailing. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available. The company also produces global industry research reports.

Mintel
A full listing of reports from market intelligence provider Mintel on the food and catering sector. Report summaries, table of contents and a sample report are available.

Industry news

Need to find the latest news on this industry sector? We can carry out industry news searches using a range of trade titles and general business sources through our databases. To discuss your requirements, please contact the enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com.

Statistics on the UK

Chilled Food Association (CFA)

The CFA publishes market data available to download as Excel spreadsheets showing the market value of different foods.

Office for National Statistics

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment – average during the year;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Retail sale in non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating (47.11)
  • Retail sale of fruit and vegetables in specialised stores (47.21)
  • Retail sale of meat and meat products in specialised stores (47.22)
  • Retail sale of fish, crustaceans and molluscs in specialised stores (47.23)
  • Retail sale of bread, cakes, flour confectionery and sugar confectionery in specialised stores (47.24)

See Division 47: Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles.

Statistics on Europe

Eurostat

Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Retail sale in non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating (G4711)
  • Retail sale of fruit and vegetables in specialised stores (G4721)
  • Retail sale of meat and meat products in specialised stores (G4722)
  • Retail sale of fish, crustaceans and molluscs in specialised stores (G4723)
  • Retail sale of bread, cakes, flour confectionery and sugar confectionery in specialised stores (G4724)

See database section ‘SBS – trade’.

Eurostat also compiles an annual survey of specialist statistics on the production of manufactured goods in the EU. Data within Prodcom Division 10 includes figures on the manufacture of food products.

Statistics on the Americas

Supermarket News

Supermarket News, the US publication, produces annual rankings, including:

Employment

UK

Average employment costs within this sector are available from Table 14 of the Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for retail and wholesale managers.

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Legislation

UK

Gov.uk provides some guidance on the main legislation applicable to a wide range of sectors within food, catering and retail.

The guidance Food and drink businesses: working with the EU and Retail sector and the EU have been published by Gov.uk covering new rules for working with the EU from 1 January 2021.

HFSS Regulations
Guide for retailers on the regulations due to come into force in October 2022 restricting high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) in stores. Published by the Association of Convenience Stores in February 2022.

Import and export

Trade Tariff

The Trade Tariff is a useful Gov.uk database listing tax, duties and licenses for the import and export of goods between the UK and other countries. The database is searchable by product or commodity code and results can be filtered by date and country. Information also includes links to relevant conditions and regulations.

See import and export information for:

UK business guides

Croner-i Business Focus

Business Focus is a resource that provides practical information on many small business trades and sectors. Its Business Opportunity Profiles offer detailed insights into market conditions, legal issues and the trading environment for a range of businesses. They include:

  • Convenience store
  • Delicatessen
  • Greengrocer
  • Health food shop

Mini Business Opportunity Profiles are also available and provide a general introduction to more niche business areas, including:

  • Asian food retailer
  • Fishmonger
  • Mobile grocer
  • Speciality cheese retailer

To find out more about Business Focus, please contact our enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com.

Atom Content Marketing guides

The Sectors Donut from Atom Content Marketing provides practical information on starting up and running a number of small business types. Guides cover a range of areas including market research, regulations, pricing, revenue streams, costs and staffing. They include:

UK key players, ratios and trends

We can produce reports on this sector using selected information from the FAME company database. Reports are available for:

  • Retail sale in non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating
    UK SIC (2007) Code 47.11
  • Retail sale of food, beverages and tobacco in specialised stores
    UK SIC (2007) Code 47.20

Summaries of the three types of report we can produce are given below. You can find further information, a sample report, pricing details and an online order form on our industry sector reports page.

We also operate a bespoke reports service with results tailored to your specifications. Please contact our enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com to discuss your requirements.

Key players report

Our key players report looks at the top companies (by turnover) in any one of the segments within this sector. Reports usually include the top 100 companies but in more specialised sectors with fewer than 100 companies we show all companies with disclosed figures. The reports provide data on 11 comparative fields for the last available year, including:

  • turnover;
  • profit margins;
  • returns on shareholder funds;
  • solvency ratios
  • number of employees.

Our reports enable easy comparison of the top companies in this sector against each other and against the sector median, average and standard deviation in each of the 11 fields.

Mailing list

A separate mailing list report is also available with address and contact details for the top companies in any of the segments within this sector.

Market reports

Our market reports look at the aggregated data for the top companies (by turnover) for any of the segments within this sector across all the fields usually found in a company report. The reports include data for the last 10 years* and enables easy comparison of trends for the whole sector. Reports usually include the top 100 companies but in more specialised sectors with fewer than 100 companies we show all companies with disclosed figures.

*Please note the number of companies for which data is aggregated will vary for any given year.

The market reports include sections on:

  • key financials and employees;
  • profit and loss account;
  • balance sheet;
  • cash flow statement;
  • financial ratios;
  • financial trends and changes;
  • profitability trends and changes.

UK benchmarking

We offer benchmarking reports that can be used to inform your own business strategy or help you identify value-added services to offer to your clients.

Contact the enquiry team directly on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com for a report tailored to your own specific requirements.

Valuation

BVB Insights
Annual report providing the latest transaction multiples broken down by industry. Each section includes a summary of recent deals with EBITDA, average transaction size and expert analysis of current trends within each industry.
The restaurant industry is classified as 'leisure businesses - travel, restaurants, gyms'. It has its own transaction multiples under 'consumer discretionary'.

ICAEW members, ACA students and Forensic/Valuation Group subscribers can download an overview of the report with headline industry multiples. Information on individual deals can be supplied by the Library on request.

Further resources

M&A in the food retail sector
Report published by Experian in June 2018 looking at recent deal activity in the UK food retail sector.

Trade bodies

Trade journals and publications

Trade journals, B2B magazines and specialist consumer magazines are another useful source of news and statistics.

Further resources

Organic food industry guide: British Library
British Library industry guides provide listings of resources for industry-specific information, including print directories and materials held by the British Library.

Contact the British Library Business and IP Centre for more information.

Further reading

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you're looking for?

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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this Business & Industry Guide is correct. However, the content of websites changes frequently and users should satisfy themselves that the information they contain is suitable for the purposes for which they wish to use it. We would be grateful to receive notification of any broken links at library@icaew.com.

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