UK retail giant Tesco is due to increase its global business by 7.5 per cent a year between now and 2015, new figures reveal.
This annual growth rate, calculated by food & grocery experts IGD, is faster than any of the other top four international grocers - Walmart, Carrefour and Metro.
Walmart, the US business which owns Asda, is set to remain by far the largest retailer in the sector in the next five years with average annual growth of 4.7 per cent and by the end of this period it will surpass half a trillion US dollars worth of sales.
By 2015 the top four grocery retailers will create a total of €717.2 billion (£603 million) in revenues, of which 43 per cent will come from their international operations.
Joanne Denney-Finch, CEO of IGD, said: “Global retailers that want to achieve the highest growth rates are those that are building a presence in emerging markets.
“Rapid urbanisation and a growing middle class will create big opportunities in countries like Brazil, China, Russia and India.”
France-based Carrefour will remain the second biggest international grocer with sales expected to reach €122 billion by 2015, ahead of Tesco in third with €106 billion and Metro in fourth with €87 billion.
Tesco has been expanding both domestically, with announcements regarding a new e-commerce distribution centre and innovative NHS stores, and internationally, through expansions in eastern Europe, in recent months.
“With retailer investment plans heavily focused on these emerging markets, food and drink manufacturers will need to keep pace if they want to be part of the growth,” Denney-Finch added.
“Each market is different and nobody should take their eye off the mature and domestic markets which still provide the bulk of sales for the international players.”