Mercadona will continue to grow
After closing 2017 with an almost 25% share of the food distribution market, the Valencia-based supermarket chain expects to become even stronger in 2018. It will continue opening new generation stores and making huge investments in this process, even greater than in 2017. And since the growth potential in Spain is becoming more and more limited, Mercadona will continue to move forward in its internationalization plans and aim to enter Portugal, where it expects to open its first stores in 2019.
The new on-line Mercadona
We should also mention Mercadona's new on-line project. Little is known yet about the development of the retailer's new digital supermarket, although the entire sector expects 2018 to be the year in which Juan Roig's company will start a revolution in the food e-commerce sector in Spain. The electronic commerce of food and beverages (right now with a share of 1.3%) needs Mercadona to bet on it right now in order for on-line sales to take off in our country and reach the levels of those in other countries, such as France or the United Kingdom.
The premiumization of supermarkets
The Spanish food retail will continue its commitment to physical stores, despite the increasingly growing e-commerce. Many experts talk about bubbles and warn that although there are now many openings, we will soon talk about closures. We are also in a process in which a new generation of supermarkets is being established in Spain, from Carrefour gourmet to Lidl's total store and the new concepts launched by Alcampo or Dia Market. Retailers will thus continue with the premiumization process.
The shadow of Amazon
Amazon's contributions and initiatives in the Spanish and global retail sector are always inspected under a magnifying glass by the entire retail sector, whether they admit it or not. In 2017, it has taken small, but important steps in Spain, mainly due to its relationship with Grupo Dia, and has broken sales records on key days, such as Black Friday. In 2018, the firm is expected to continue becoming stronger and offering new services to our country. Will we get a taste of Amazon Key? We will see. At the international level, after buying Whole Foods in the United States and getting fully involved in offline supermarkets, European experts point out that Amazon could carry out a similar operation in Europe. Carrefour, Morrisons or Sainsbury have come out as possible purchase options.
From 16 to 19 April, a new edition of Alimentaria will be held in Barcelona. The event is expected to bring the entire national and international food industry together at Fira de Barcelona and will serve as a meeting point for everyone in the sector, allowing them to discuss current news and trends and, above all, do business. It will be the biggest event of this year for the large retail sector. Later, in October, the classic Aecoc congress is planned to be held in Madrid.
What we will eat
The desire to innovate will continue to motivate manufacturers (there will be a war with store brands on the supermarket shelves) and new products will continue to arrive. Even though we are still getting used to superfoods, some are already talking about superspices and nourishing powders, which will start new trends. The healthy will also rule and we will see a growing number of rare foods marketed as healthy snacks. The fresh cut range will also continue to grow as a result of the increasingly reduced amount of time that we devote to eating and preparing our food.
In 2018, there will continue to be improvements in the transparency of the products' labelling, with the manufacturers motivated by the demands of the consumers. For example, we have stopped talking about wholemeal bread to talk about bran-rich bread. Retailers are also helping by providing information to buyers about everything they demand with as much honesty as possible.