Central European grocery market to register steady growth till 2021

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:

The stagnation on the grocery market in the CE region seems to be over and the market is expected to register steady growth in the coming years and reach €145.8bn in 2021. What is more, growth will occur in all regional markets, although the rates will vary significantly between the countries.


The Romanian and Bulgarian markets, which are the least developed in the region, will be the fastest growing ones in the coming years. In Bulgaria the share of modern retail is still the lowest - it was below 40% in 2015. However, with both hypermarkets and discount stores expected to gain market share in the years ahead, it is about to increase.

The Czech market is at the other end of the spectrum. Modern retail has the highest share of all the reviewed grocery markets (over 70% in 2015). And together with the Slovakian market, the grocery market in the Czech Republic will be the slowest growing in the region in the coming years, according to our forecast.



Bulgaria and Romania are significantly below the regional average in terms of per capita market value. The Bulgarian market’s per capita value was 67% of the CE average as of 2015, and the Romanian market’s - 59%. More importantly, Bulgaria is expected to converge to the regional average in terms of per capita market size (and will reach 75% in 2021), but Romania is forecast to remain at about the same level (60%) in 2021, based on our current forecasts.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are also expected to converge to the regional average, which means that their current margin over it will narrow in the coming years. The Slovakian market will move from 124% of the regional average last year to 116% in 2021, and the Czech market from 114% to 106%. Poland will remain at the level of 118-119% of the regional average during the period under review.



As usual, the largest market in the region is Poland, which accounted for more than 51% of total grocery sales in CE in 2015. The smallest market is Bulgaria with only about 5%. Looking at the respective countries’ populations and levels of economic development, the Polish grocery market is over-represented while the Romanian market is under-developed, based on the 2015 data.



More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:
Grocery retail in Central Europe 2016. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2016-2021