Non-food sales in UK supermarkets will grow by 42% over the next five years to account for almost one pound in every eight spent in stores, according to IGD.
Non-food sales would grow from £10.4bn this year to £14.8bn in 2012, predicted IGD's Balancing Food and Non-Food In-store report - more than two-and-a-half times the 16.1% rate of growth estimated for grocery.
"We foresee rapid growth in non-food over the next five years as shoppers embrace the convenience and price," said report author, IGD analyst Tim Maton. "Even an economic slowdown could offer an opportunity for retailers who can offer real value in non-food purchases." However, he warned, retailers could still be losing out by failing to meet shopper expectations on range and customer service.
Only 19% of shoppers interviewed shopped for non-grocery at supermarkets because of the range on offer compared with 33% for other stores.
And just 18% said customer service was a reason to shop in supermarkets, compared with 25% at other stores. "Currently, millions of shoppers often rule out supermarkets for specialist non-grocery purchases because they believe the range on offer is narrow," said Maton.
n The Grocer's Non-Food in Food conference takes place at the London Marriott Hotel on 23 January. Call 01293 610486 for details.