Urbanization, economic growth to bolster Senegal’s retail and wholesale food market, report
18-01-2018 13:50:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 8906 | Tags:

Senegal is regarded as one of the most stable countries in Africa and although it suffers from poverty levels of more than 46%, it is the second-fastest growing economy in West Africa.

Strong demographic growth and rapid urbanization in recent years have transformed the food economy from subsistence farming to one where 45% of its population now lives in cities.

The informal sector, which includes thousands of small independent shops, kiosks and traditional open-air markets dominates, accounting for as much as 80% of food wholesale and retail activity. 

The wholesale and retail food industry was estimated to be worth around US$3.0bn or 20% of the country's GDP of US$14.24bn in 2016. Currently the formal sector, which is dominated by hypermarkets and conventional supermarkets situated mostly in Dakar, make up an estimated 2% of the food retail sector.

This is expected to increase as the economy improves and the level of urbanization continues to rise. Role players believe the resulting growing urbanized middle class will increase demand for the convenience and variety offered by formal retail and supermarkets. 

The report on the Wholesale and Retail of Food in Senegal examines current conditions and developments as well as factors that influence the success of the sector. Profiles are provided for the three major retailers in the country.

Included is major French grocery chain, the Casino Group, which is well established and has dominated the sector for some time. Mercure International Group is the franchise holder for the chain in Senegal and currently owns eight large supermarkets.

However, its dominance is under threat from Citydia and Auchan who have both, over the past year, opened new stores in Dakar. In a recent development, CityDia standalone supermarkets were acquired by competitor, Auchan but the popular forecourt City Express outlets were not part of the deal.