It’s been a constant topic of conversation both for the journalists that the PR team talk to on a regular basis and within my household as we look at our grocery shopping bill every week – with commodity prices rocketing, you simply can’t esacpe that the average weekly shop is getting more expensive.

The United States Department of Agriculture warned in February 2010 that the world faces a protracted bout of extremely high food prices. The causes are manifold and various but include increased fuel prices, rising demand, specifically from China, and the acreage of land given over to raising corn to satisfy demand from the heavily subsidised US ethanol industry.

The resultant higher prices are cited as a contributory factor in the protests sweeping the Middle East. In a selection of G20 economies, Mintel Global Market Navigator (GMN) shows that the grocery retailing market is forecast to rise faster in value than the rise in the consumer price index (CPI)… with the exception of the Japanese market.

The Japanese grocery retailing market has a forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2010 to 2014 of -0.3% whereas the CAGR for the CPI is 1.0%. The comparative figures for Australia (2.9% and 2.5%) and the UK (4.0% and 3.1%) show a positive but narrow spread. The German (3.4% and 1.5%), Italian (4.1% and 2.1%), Spanish (4.2% and 1.4%) and US (6.6% and 2.1%) markets are forecast to exhibit a wider positive spread between the CAGR of the grocery retailing market and CPI. In addition, GMN forecasts for 2010 to 2014 CAGRs indicate that only in Australia (3.5%) and Japan (1.1%) will the overall retailing market grow faster in value than the grocery retailing sector.