In the latest analysis by this year’s report titled “Signs of Hope – The State of Grocery Retail 2024 in Europe”, the forthcoming trends in the food retail landscape from 2024 onwards have been revealed. Price inflation continues to grip the European food market into the first quarter of 2024, with the report highlighting that in 2023, the average inflation rate surged to 12.8%, marking its most elevated point since the conclusion of World War II.

Research reveals that 70% of European food businesses prioritize managing cost pressures and profit margins among eight key trends.

Additionally, one-fifth of European consumers plan to switch grocery stores in the next three months, with half actively seeking money-saving opportunities.

Food consumption away from home is anticipated to grow 2.5 times faster than overall consumption. While strides have been taken in sustainability, there’s significant ground to cover, with only 29% of the top 10 retail businesses meeting their sustainability objectives.

“Online” signifies freedom from “offline,” as 37% of online shoppers opt for different virtual stores than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly engaging with retail through social media platforms, with 20 out of the leading 30 European food chains already leveraging social media for retail sales.

The ‘conversational commerce’ brings the next wave of detailed insights, while the use of artificial intelligence can unlock 10-20% of the value of advanced analytics with AI.

In the eighth trend, retail is shifting back to a talent and skill-based occupation, evidenced by a substantial increase in job vacancies, rising from 2.2% in 2023 to 29.4% in 2024.

Overall, CEOs of major food chains express cautious optimism for market conditions in 2024, noting signs of hope compared to the previous year.

The President of the Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated “In our country, according to the latest published data from ELSTAT, the general retail sales volume index showed a 9.8% decline last month compared to last year, while the overall business turnover index in constant prices also decreased by 3.8%.”