As in other countries in this report series, while retail sales have suffered in many sectors in Spain at the hands of COVID-19, food retail has seen sales rise in 2020. Food retail sales have benefitted from the closure of hospitality venues during lockdown. The supermarkets’ online businesses have also flourished. After 2020 we expect food retail sales to gradually return to pre-COVID growth levels.

Supermarkets and other stores have had to adapt quickly to the pandemic, offering extended opening hours, changing store layouts to ensure the safety of staff and customers, while expanding their online offering and order fulfilment capacity to satisfy rising demand and coping with erratic buying habits as shoppers sought to stock up.

Mercadona remains the undisputed market leader in Spain but other major players, Carrefour and Auchan have increased their market share over the past five years. However, Eroski and Dia continue to struggle and remain on a downward trend, with their sales actually decreasing in recent years.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a generally greater sense of community, with shoppers placing even more importance on cooperation between retailers and suppliers, collaborations and giving back to the community. Sustainability and the environment, which were already gaining strength prior to the breakout, have also come even more to the fore.

Key issues covered in this report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the grocery retailing sector.

  • The winners and losers in the grocery retailing sector since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • The growth of the online grocery channel and the boost given to it by the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • How people shop for groceries and which retailers they use for main and top-up shops.

  • How behaviours of grocery shoppers have changed since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Areas covered in this report

This report covers the grocery sector in Spain, with a focus on supermarket, hypermarket and convenience store operators. The report does not cover the smaller food retailers, such as specialists (bakers, butchers etc., although some reference is made to them for context), markets, CTNs or wholesalers, in detail, nor does it cover food sold via non-food retailers, such as department stores.

The report combines analysis of the market in Spain, including market sizes and forecasts for consumer spending on grocery items and food retailers’ sales, along with our in-depth consumer data which analyses shoppers’ behaviours in Spain.

For our consumer research this year we asked questions on the following topics:

  • Who shops for groceries

  • How people shop for groceries

  • Grocery retailers used

  • Attitudes towards grocery retailers and COVID-19-related issues.

For the purpose of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Consumer spending: The total amount spent by Spanish households (including sales tax) on food, drink and tobacco. This is for retail purchases only, and excludes foodservice spending, such as through bars, hotels and restaurants. Tobacco is the exception to this rule.

Retail sales: Total sales of all types of goods and services (excluding sales tax) by grocery retailers. It includes online sales of these retailers where the majority of sales are in bricks and mortar outlets.

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