European FMCG sales volume rises for sixth straight quarter, Nielsen reports

The volume of FMCG products – such as soft drinks, toiletries and food – purchased across Europe increased year-on-year for the sixth consecutive quarter, according to the latest data from global information and insights company Nielsen.

In the third quarter of 2015, FMCG sales volume across Europe increased 1.3%. The growth in volumes was accompanied by a 1.7% rise in prices paid. Consequently, takings at the tills rose 3.0%.

In Q3, Turkey continued to experience, by far, the highest nominal year-on-year sales growth (+12.4%) among the 21 European countries measured, followed by Austria (+5.9%) and Hungary (+5.8%).

Only three European countries experienced a decline in nominal growth – Switzerland (-1.5%), Finland (-0.9%) and the UK (-0.3%).

European map by growth

Of the big five western European markets, Spain (+3.0%) had the highest nominal growth, followed by Germany (+2.3%). 

Change among big 5 EU markets
 E.g. Europe’s 3.0% nominal growth was accounted for by a 1.7% increase in prices paid and a 1.3% increase in volume

Value changes
Turkey (9.5%) was the only one of the 21 European countries measured to experience price rises above 3%; only a further three (Sweden, Norway and Austria) saw prices rise above the 21-country average (1.7%). However, only five suffered price deflation.

Volume changes
For the first time in over a year, Turkey did not experience the largest increase in sales volume – Poland (5.0%) led the way, followed by Hungary (4.3%) and Austria (3.9%). The UK and Finland (both -0.5%) were the only two to experience a decline in sales volume.

“The last year has been characterised by stable price evolution and climbing volumes, so things are certainly heading in the right direction – in most countries,” said Nielsen’s European director of retail insights Jean-Jacques Vandenheede. “The one big blip on the European radar, however, is the UK, where a heavy and sustained price war by the supermarkets to combat the rise of the discounters, is hitting takings at the tills. This shows little sign of abating and is likely to continue well into 2016.”