Tesco has overtaken Intermarché to become the second largest food retailer by turnover in Europe according to Mintel. But it is only half the size of the European leader Carrefour, which achieved sales of over E62bn in 2000, according to the European Retail Rankings 2002 report.
Sainsbury is at number eight in the list, Wal-Mart Europe, including Asda and its troubled German operations, is 10th and Safeway 14th.
Ahold, which is expected to overtake Carrefour as world number two this year (The Grocer, August 3) but has a relatively small European presence, was only ranked 12th in its home continent.
"As the food retail sector becomes more competitive, the companies able to control their entire store network, such as Carrefour, Tesco and Ahold, will have considerable competitive advantage over voluntary groups such as Leclerc and Intermarché," said Richard Perks, senior European retail analyst at Mintel.
German food discounters, Lidl and Aldi, were high on the list but Perks dismissed the idea of them making a big impact in the UK. "They may grow at the expense of Kwik Save but their offering to UK consumers will never enable them to take more than 5% of the market."

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