C-stores are set to outperform the wider grocery market over the next five years as new store developments and consumer demand underpin growth.

The UK convenience sector, currently valued at £32.1bn, is projected to grow 5.8% a year to £42.6bn by 2015, ­according to new IGD figures.

Online grocery is also ­expected to show rapid growth and double value from £4.8bn to £9.5bn over the same period, thanks to improvements and increased shopper confidence in the channel. Its share of the total grocery market is expected to rise from 3.2% to 5.2%.

Meanwhile, the UK food and grocery market is set to grow on average by 3.9% to £182.7bn by 2015, boosting its share of total retail from 52.7% to 53.9%.

Non-food sales are predicted to increase from £12.4bn in 2010 to £17.1bn over the period. IGD's report revealed optimism among suppliers but also an awareness of the need to innovate.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of suppliers surveyed planned to create products tailored to different store formats or channel-specific needs.

Many retailers had also announced major development plans, all of which were helping drive growth, said IGD UK research manager Gavin Rothwell.