According to ‘Australian Food Statistics’, a report produced by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) in 2013, with data extracted from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and other sources, the value of food and liquor retailing in Australia grew by 4 per cent in 2012–13 to $141.4 billion Of that spending, supermarkets and grocery outlets accounted for 62%, cafes and restaurants 14%, take-away outlets 11%, liquor retailing 7% and other food outlets 6%.
The value of food and liquor retailing had decreased slightly from the previous year, when growth of 4.2 per cent had taken total spending to $135.8 billion. In 2012-13, food and liquor retailing outstripped general retailing in growth as the segment as a whole grew by just 2.5 per cent.
For the 2012-13 year, the total number of supermarket outlets operated by the major food retailers, Coles and Woolworths, independent retailers supplied by Metcash and the relatively recent arrive, Aldi, was around 4 500. In December 2013, Woolworths accounted for 39 per cent of grocery expenditure, Coles 33.5 per cent, ALDI 10.3 per cent and IGA (supplied by Metcash) 9.5 per cent (Roy Morgan 2014).
Data for the year showed that 1.6 million people were employed throughout the food sector, with food and beverage manufacturing accounting for around 23 per cent of Australian manufacturing sector employment, up from 18 per cent in 2002–03.