Grocery store sales growth, 1999-2009

During the past decade, there were many years in which grocery store sales growth (in current dollars) exceeded the rate of inflation. In 2008 and 2009-a period of recession and economic uncertainty-traditional grocery retailers experienced negative inflation-adjusted growth. The slow and negative inflation-adjusted growth in annual sales at traditional grocery stores was likely due in part to increased competition from nontraditional food retailers-such as warehouse clubs, supercenters, drugstores, and other retailers-as more consumers economized on food spending. This chart is from the Food Marketing System in the U.S. briefing room on the ERS website, updated in November 2010.

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