Confirming what most shoppers and store keepers already knew, a new study from the Fundación de Cajas de Ahorro Confederadas (Funcas) association in Spain has confirmed the dominance of major retail outlets when it come supplying the groceries of Spanish consumers.
A study by Funcas shows that hypermarkets and supermarkets account for 83 per cent of the food products sold in Spain, while traditional food stores now take just 15 per cent.
Not surprisingly, Carrefour is the biggest player in the Spanish food and drink sector, with a turnover three times that of its nearest rival, Coca-Cola, the Funcas report said. So great is Carrefour's grip on the Spanish market, in fact, that the French group's Spanish unit is one of the top 15 retail companies in Europe, according to the report.
But the dominance of large store operators in Spain is nothing compared to that elsewhere in Europe, the study reveals. In France, hypermarkets and supermarkets account for 94 per cent of food sales, while in the UK and Germany the figure is as high as 95 per cent.
Using data from 2001, the Funcas study also shows that some 45.6 per cent of packaged goods sales in Spain are made by just three companies. Carrefour is of course the leading retailer, with 25.9m per cent of total sales, followed by Mercadona with 10.1 per cent and Eroski with 9.6 per cent.