PH food retail sales seen to grow 20% as more consumers buy in supermarkets amid pandemic

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By: CNN Philippines

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected a 20 percent growth in the Philippines’ food retail sales as more consumers purchase food and beverage needs in supermarkets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its Foreign Agricultural Service report, the agency said the country’s food retail sales will reach $60 billion from $50 billion in 2019. Purchases of food and beverage have been increasing not only in supermarkets, but also on online sites, it said.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers have been increasingly cooking food at home, driving a surge in purchases of local and imported food and beverage products from supermarkets and online portals,” it said in the report.

The USDA noted that three supermarket chains are dominating the food retail scene, with SM Markets leading, followed by PureGold, and Robinsons.

It also noted that the pandemic pushed more middle- to upper-income consumers to shift to delivery of grocery items, which led to retailers “ramping up efforts to strengthen their digital presence and take advantage of this growing trend.”

Furthermore, the USDA also mentioned that 25 to 30 percent of shoppers of key players have shifted to online platforms. More are expected to do the same as players address challenges like number of stocks, and delivery time, it added.

On the other hand, lower-income consumers still prefer mom and pop stores and traditional wet markets.

The USDA reported that the food retail sector grew 25 percent over the past five years, reaching $50 billion last year with modern retail accounting for half of it.

It added that retailers with strong online presence are expected to perform better this year as consumers shift to e-commerce brought about by the pandemic.


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