Retail World celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Annual Report at a race day and awards event at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney last week.
Addressing guests from the retail and FMCG sector, the keynote speakers were Australian Food & Grocery Council CEO Gary Dawson, IRI Retail Director Justin Finney and Foodbank CEO Brianna Casey.
Managing Editor Lorna Gloria shared a glimpse into the Annual Report’s history and journey through the decades from its launch in 1966, when the independents maintained the largest share of grocery market at 38.6 per cent, but with chains (33.8 per cent) and groups (27.6 per cent share) catching up rapidly.
By 1986, the Australian grocery market was the fourth most concentrated in the world.
In 1996, market shares and sizes were available for more than 30 categories and 150 segments. The Annual Report also outlined the 100 top-selling products for the year, with Coca-Cola in first spot and cigarette brands featuring prominently in the first 10 places.
In 2006, the Annual Report contained comprehensive market-share data with market volumes and competitive structures of major packaged grocery, an overview of private label and a list of category dominators. Dairy case was the largest category at $4.3 billion, followed by cigarettes and tobacco at $3.8 billion, and cold beverages at $3.6 billion.
In 2016, Retail World teamed up with IRI to publish the new-format Grocery Market Shares snapshot on select categories, as well as the ‘IRI Market Moves 2015/16: The State of the Industry Report for Grocery’, written by Channel Insights Manager Daniel Bone.
The AFGC’s Mr Dawson congratulated Ms Gloria and Retail World on the impressive milestone.
“In today’s media environment, for a magazine to have such longevity and retain and build its readership is a huge achievement,” he said.
In his address to guests, Mr Dawson noted another significant retailing milestone, with Woolworths breaking a seven-and-a-half-year run of lagging behind Coles on like-for-like sales growth – marking a significant new phase in the supermarket war.
“It’s worth noting that while Woolworths has achieved an impressive turnaround in sales and restored some real sales growth momentum, its margins fell further,” he said.
“For suppliers, that’s both an opportunity and a threat – the opportunity to tap into that sales growth momentum by aligning with Woolworths objectives, but also the very real threat that Woolworths will go down the familiar path of restoring its profitability by clawing back margin from its suppliers.
“And, of course, we’re all waiting for the response from Coles. All up, the year ahead promises to be just as tough as ever and it’s why initiatives like the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct are so important.”
“Retailer-supplier relations is the dominant issue for the AFGC, because it’s the dominant issue for all our members. But it’s far from the only issue we deal with.”
Mr Dawson’s keynote address looked at:
- The AFGC’s service on behalf of food and grocery producers.
- The competitiveness and reputation framework.
- The biggest threat to competitiveness – rising costs at a time of retail price deflation.
- The biggest threat to reputation – the concerted attempts by critics to pathologise food and grocery companies.
- Great cause for optimism – export opportunities and the astonishing growth in exports, and NPD back in favour.
- The greatest weakness of the food and grocery sector – underinvestment.
- The greatest strength of the food and grocery sector – safe, high-quality food, and size and diversity.
- The greatest achievements over the past five years.
- The biggest change on the horizon – arrival of Amazon as a domestic force in Australia.
- The biggest disruptor – mobile computing technology empowering consumers.
- The most important single development to watch – what the consumer is willing to pay premium for.
Full details of Mr Dawson’s keynote will be available in the upcoming Retail World April issue.
IRI’s Mr Finney, in his address, said: “We’re seeing a shift where shoppers are more savvy and, as such, becoming more demanding and harder to reach. We go online, even while at the shelf with product in hand, looking for personal reviews, exploring competitive products and comparing prices at other retailers.
“Today, we regularly shop with at least three FMCG retailers, and with the growth of e-commerce and the introduction of changing shop formats, the distinction now between FMCG channels is blurring.
“At IRI, we use our leading cloud technology platform, IRI’s Liquid Data, and prescriptive analytic tools to deliver powerful market, shopper and media information and end-to-end customised solutions – from insights to planning, targeting/optimisation to activation/execution, all the way through to understanding your ROI.
“To power this, our technology is making it easier and easier to access these pockets of opportunity, all while taking into consideration the increasing points of data that add to the richness of the opportunity.
“For us to do this requires innovation to continuously improve and to keep pace. The decisions we make about which direction to take are shaped from the relationships we have with leaders in the market, you.
“Our relationships with you are a big part of our success … and we don’t take that lightly. So we saw it as a great opportunity to support our relationship with Retail Media and the 50th anniversary of the Retail World Annual Report.
“In this instance, we have done so with IRI’s big-picture solution and by providing IRI’s latest Market Moves Grocery Report, which was made available for the December issue of Retail World.
“Not only does it look at the performance of the grocery channel, but within it discusses key market trends such as ranging decisions, the effectiveness of in-store activity and the evolution of private label.”
Using IRI’s big-picture solution, Retail World presented category awards based on data referenced for the 12 months leading up to October 2016.
The top 10 categories were selected based on those delivering the greatest value growth to the grocery channel.
Within each of those 10 categories, manufacturers that have had the greatest growth received an award.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this day for Retail Media as we see Retail World as a leading voice in the grocery segment,” Mr Finney said. “I wish you all good luck with the awards and I hope that 2017 is a year of growth for your business.”
The category award winners are:
- Baby formula: Danone Nutricia
- Chilled fresh milk: Lion Dairy & Drinks
- Cigarettes: Imperial Tobacco Australia
- Confectionery: Mondeléz International
- Frozen ice-cream: Unilever Australasia
- Frozen meals: Vesco Foods
- Packaged fish: Simplot Australia
- Roll-your-own tobacco: Philip Morris International
- Snacking chips: PepsiCo – The Smith’s Snackfood Company
- Soft drinks, water: Coca-Cola Amatil
Don’t miss the Retail World April issue for full coverage of the event.