Large supermarkets have grown too big and unwieldy to respond to consumer needs, according to Lord Haskins.
He said that within 20 years they would be replaced by warehouses with space franchised out to small businesses and retailers.
Lord Haskins, former chairman of Northern Foods and adviser to Tony Blair, claimed the rules of the game had changed. Speaking at a two-day international food conference at University College Dublin, he said that in the past, companies had to be large to have access to capital and to be able to afford technology.
But now smaller companies had such access and also a much greater capacity to innovate. In contrast, he said. “Big business has grown much more risk-adverse and spends more and more time worrying about the next lawsuit.”