China has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest food and grocery market, according to research from industry body IGD.
By 2015, the Chinese market is forecast to be worth £918bn compared to a US value of £675bn, says IGD.
The Chinese grocery sector was worth £607bn at the end of 2011, while the US market - which includes Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer - dropped into second place at £572bn.
"This rapid expansion has been fuelled by three main factors: rapid economic growth, population and rising food inflation," said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.
By 2015, the Chinese market is forecast to be worth £918bn compared to a US value of £675bn, according to the report by the British grocery industry group.
IGD predicts that the US grocery market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.2pc between 2011 and 2015, but China's rate will be double this at 10.9pc.
All the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations will be in the top five grocery markets by 2015, with India displacing Japan as the world’s third largest grocery market by value.
Britain's grocery market will be the eighth largest in the world by 2015, worth £162bn, pushing Germany down one place to ninth.
Technological innovations such as the rising use of the internet and smartphones to shop would be a key feature of grocery sales in the US and UK in the coming years, IGD said. ($1 = 0.6259 British pounds)