Spanish Supermarkets 2016: Mercadona dominates, Lidl gains

Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona cemented its growth and continues to be the largest grocery chain in Spain with an accumulated sales volume of 22.9% of the market in 2016. Latest figures from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel shows that German discounter Lidl- the only other supermarket in the region to have attained growth during the previous year, advanced 0.5%, to gain 4.1% of the total market share for its third consecutive year, in a row now.

Kantar found this “Lidl phenomenon” remarkable as with less than 600 shops across the nation, 6 out of 10 Spanish households have already made purchases in the German market during the last year. Mercadona has a presence in 9 out of 10 Spanish households.

At a great distance, the Grupo DIA and Carrefour achieved a technical tie in the second place of the national distribution with 8.5% market share but without any significant signs of growth throughout the year. Other major supermarket chains Eroski and Auchan (Alcampo) posted loses of 0.3% and 0.1% respectively. With these declines, the Basque school ranks fourth in the big food chains, controlling 5.8% of the market, while the French group is at the bottom of the list with 3.7% of Share, behind Lidl.

In terms of overall consumption data, the economic recovery experienced in recent years has led to negative rates in the total sales volume in large food chains, in particular a decrease of 1.6% compared to the year 2015. This Drop is mainly due to a change in the habits of consumers who choose to eat in bars and restaurants.

In addition to the economic recovery, other factors that have contributed to the fall in the volume of sales of the great consumption are the stagnation of the population – that low by 0.2% -, and the awareness of the families on food wastage.

However, in spite of the economic recovery, the total value in sales in the big food chains also has decreased by 1.2%. The average expenditure per household in large consumption fell by 2.2% during 2016, although it did not suffer the same drop in the whole of Spain. In fact, in most of the cantabrian coast (Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias), Navarre, Aragon and Balearic Islands the evolution in the spending was positive.

The patterns of expenditure are also different depending on the territory: while the Galician community consumes the most in large chains with a cost of 4,509 euros per household, La Rioja reduces that spending by almost 1,000 euros less, being the community that least resort to Great consumption.