The increasing food consumption in the Philippines has been driving growth in the food and beverage retail sector over the past few years. Spending on essentials, particularly on food and beverage items, has contributed to this significant growth. In fact, in 2020, household expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by about eight percent compared to the previous year despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The food retail landscape

Along with the rising growth of food retail sales in the country comes the increasing popularity of different retail channels selling various food products. In a recent finding, supermarkets emerged as the most popular retail outlet generating nearly seven billion U.S. dollars in sales. Shopping occasions in grocery stores also reported one of the lowest contractions across all retail channels. Ranked by sales, Robinsons Supermarket was the leading supermarket outlet in the country followed by SM Supermarket.

On the other hand, traditional retailers such as convenience stores reported the highest growth in spending value per trip among FMCG channels during the first quarter of 2021. Among the most popular of this type of retail channel were sari-sari stores which were usually located within the shopkeeper’s residence. They usually apply a 10 percent markup and allow customers to buy items in units rather than the whole package. For example, instead of buying a whole bottle of soy sauce, customers can buy a sachet for a cheaper price.

Digitalisation of food and beverage retail

Even before the pandemic, there was a notable shift to digital platforms seen across the various retail outlets. With the introduction of different payment methods and the improving online presence of grocery stores and hypermarkets, consumers are shifting to e-commerce platforms for most purchases particularly groceries and medicines. In 2020, the e-commerce market was valued at four billion U.S. dollars and was forecast to reach 15 billion U.S. dollars in 2025. In addition, other supermarkets are also offering self-checkout counters to accommodate an increasing preference for safe and convenient shopping.


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