Convenience stores will continue to help fuel growth in the UK grocery market which is predicted to expand by a further 13% between now and 2020, according to latest forecasts by IGD.

The convenience sector will remain the third fastest growing sector behind online sales and the discounters, although growth in all three sectors will be slower over the next five years than the previous five.

Convenience stores will have grown in value by 17% to hit £44bn by 2020, while discounters will have grown by 82% to reach just over £23bn. Online grocery sales, meanwhile, are expected to grow by almost 93% by 2020.

Superstores and hypermarkets will experience a modest fall in sales by 2020 although they will still account for the biggest slice of the grocery market, with a value of £69.6bn.

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: “Online sales are still on a rapid growth curve. A record three out of 10 shoppers said they shopped online for their groceries last month, compared to 22% in 2010 when we started tracking the data.

“Food discounters have enjoyed remarkable success over the last few years. We expect the discounters to maintain strong momentum and open many more stores, including in more affluent areas. However, we do expect growth to be harder won as the pool of best locations gets smaller and the major supermarkets fight back.

“Convenience stores have a similar challenge in finding ideal new locations and face rising competition from other formats, including the discounters, for top-up shopping.

“They do, however, remain popular with shoppers. They are the most used type of grocery format, with people visiting them 12 times a month on average. Given their large network, they have the benefit of being visible and available in many communities, which means most people have easy access to them.”