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Apr 04, 2012, 06.42 AM IST | Source: Reuters

China's grocery market overtakes U.S. - industry body

IGD-GROCERY:China's grocery market overtakes U.S. - industry body

LONDON (Reuters) - China's grocery sector is now the largest in the world, overtaking the U.S. in 2011 and tripling in value between 2006 and 2015, according to industry body IGD.

The Chinese grocery sector was worth 607 billion pounds in 2011 and is forecast to reach nearly one trillion pounds by 2015, said the research by British grocery industry group IGD.

"This rapid expansion has been fuelled by three main factors: rapid economic growth, population and rising food inflation," said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

Although industrial output and inflation have cooled, China's economy is still expected to grow between 8 and 9 percent this year.

The U.S. grocery market - which includes Wal-Mart , the world's largest retailer - was worth 572 billion pounds in 2011, and is predicted to grow to 675 billion by 2015, said IGD.

That puts it still some way ahead of India, which with forecast sales of 385 billion pounds is due to overtake Japan to become the third biggest grocery market by 2015.

Technological innovations such as the rising use of the internet and smartphones to shop would be a key feature of grocery sales in the U.S. and UK in the coming years, IGD said.

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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