AFGC predicts modest growth for food and beverage industry

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 30th January 2013

Retail spending growth will remain steady heading into 2013, according to the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and global packaging company CHEP’s latest Retail Index released yesterday.

The Index showed a 3 per cent growth in December 2012 in a year-on-year comparison with December 2011. The AFGC predicts that this level of year-on-year growth is expected to hold steady in February 2013 when compared with February 2012, and then also in the 2013 March quarter – with both forecast to be at 3 per cent.

In dollar terms, retail trade turnover is expected to rise moderately, from $21.5 billion in December 2012 to $21.6 billion in February 2013.

Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC) Chief Executive, Gary Dawson, said that the start of 2013 is “unlikely to produce the lift in sales retailers had hoped for,” but he also said that moderate growth can be expected.

“Everyone eats, so food retail doesn’t tend to be as volatile as some other retail sectors,” Mr Dawson said.

“Trading conditions remain challenging for food and grocery manufacturers. Planned capital investment to improve efficiency and productivity and a focus on innovation to capitalise on expanding Asian markets will be among the priorities for the industry in 2013,” Mr Dawson added.

The AFGC CHEP Retail Index is a collaborative project between the AFGC and CHEP Australia, powered by Deloitte. The Index uses CHEP transactional data based on pallet movements and is a lead indicator of Australian Bureau of Statistics Retail Trade data.

The next AFGC CHEP Retail Index will be released in late April 2013. The current index can be found here.