China, the world’s biggest food and grocery market, is now valued at more than US$1trillion and is forecast to be worth US$1.5tn in 2016, according to latest figures published by market researcher IGD. The firm also found that the U.S. grocery market will remain the second largest globally and is predicted to be worth US$1.1tn in 2016. IGD expects growth to accelerate from a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% between 2010 and 2012, to 4.7% between 2013 and 2016.

By 2016, IGD said that the Indian grocery market will have overtaken Japan to become the world’s third largest grocery market, valued at US$566bn, while the gap between Russia and Brazil is fast narrowing. By 2016, the Brazilian and Russian grocery markets are projected to be worth US$468bn and US$467bn respectively, with Brazil set to climb to fourth position with a CAGR of 9.1% between 2013 and 2016.

All of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations will be in the top five grocery markets by 2016, notes IDG, worth just over US$3tn in total.

“For food and consumer goods companies, the Asia-Pacific and Latin American grocery markets offer long-term growth opportunities, with many businesses already profiting from entering them,” said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD. “The Chinese grocery market, in particular, has been growing at a rapid pace for several years. Representing one fifth (20%) of the world’s population, China has had a surge in the number of higher-income earners, benefiting from a significant rise in wages. This has resulted in a soaring demand for new products, brands and concepts – all of which have helped fuel its growth.

“International and domestic grocery retailers are expanding quickly in China with diverse formats and entering new regions. This not only creates new supply chain opportunities for manufacturers, but also presents a wealth of choice for Chinese shoppers.

“In Latin America, Brazil is also an attractive growth market for global grocery players. Over the next few years, Brazil will be hosting big sporting events such as the World Cup and Summer Olympic Games, presenting a further boost for its economy and for the performance of retailers and manufacturers operating in the region.”

IGD said that by 2016, the top 15 global grocery markets will have a total value of US$6.5tn. The top five – US and BRIC – will increase their share to 65% – compared to 60% in 2012 – with a combined value of US$4.2tn. This offers plenty of scope for food and consumer goods companies seeking international growth.