German expert says future's digital but supermarkets are here to stay

22-Sep-2017 - Germany

The digital economy will have a massive impact on the way we shop for groceries, but the German food trade sector is convinced that some things will never change.

"[D]igitization does not mean the end of the supermarket," Franz-Martin Rausch of the Federal Association of the German Retail Grocery Trade (BVLH) said in Cologne on Thursday.

Modem shoppers will combine online and traditional shopping to become "omni-shoppers," Rausch predicted, ahead of the Anuga Food Fair, described by the organizers as the largest of its kind in the world.

He noted that mini robot vehicles were already undergoing testing to deliver to shoppers.

According to the BVLH, turnover in the German food sector is on the rise this year, with consumers spending on average 3 per cent more in August than in the same month last year.

Export continues to be a growth driver, a nominal plus of 5.7 per cent in the first half to 87.2 billion euros (104 billion dollars) by comparison with the same period in 2016.

For 2017, the BVLH is predicting total turnover of 243 billion euros, representing nominal year-on-year growth of 4 per cent, with discounters leading the trend.

Rausch noted that over the year dairy products had become more expensive, with butter prices soaring 60 per cent, owing to global demand, thanks in part to China.

Held every two years, Anuga is expecting a record 7,400 participants from 104 countries between October 7 and 11. Partner country this year is India.(dpa)

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