Guide to researching the grocery stores and supermarket industry

Research in aisle 2  ;-)
Research in aisle 2 😉


The purpose of this guide is to point business researchers to some key resources when researching the grocery stores and supermarket  industry.  This guide contains several of the key and highly recommended resources when analyzing the industry and researching the companies in the industry.  I’ve listed the databases and resources below, with recommendations on how to find the best information in the quickest fashion.

The guide starts with resources for performing an industry analysis, but don’t miss the top picks for company analysis further down the page.  For additional tips, take a look at my guides for  Industry Research Basics and Company Research Basics.

For help citing the resources on this page, see the Guide to APA format.

6 Top Tips

The video below demonstrates the most essential tools to use when you first start researching this industry.  While all of the resources listed here are essential, this video showcases the ones to check out first.


Best Bets for Industry Analysis

The resources in this section are the best bets for analyzing the broad industry.

Encyclopedia of American Industries

If you need to know some history of an industry, the  Encyclopedia of American Industries is a great resource. Just search for grocery or supermarket to find some excellent background of the industry.


IbisWorld is a good place to get started for a good overview of several sectors of the industry.  Simply search for supermarket or grocery to find relevant reports.

Hoover’s Online

In addition to excellent company information, Hoover’s also offers broad industry overviews, which compliment the reports from IbisWorld quite nicely.  In Hoover’s you can find reports on Grocery Stores & Supermarkets. This report, and others, offer much better global coverage than IbisWorld.


Passport  some excellent market research reports on retailing in specific countries.  Passport is a great tool to use to understand the industry on an international level.

  • Use the search box in the top right of Passport to search for “Grocery Retailers in the U.S.” (or other country of your choosing).  You can also find this, and other reports and statistics under the Industries tab (look for Retailing) in Passport.
  • It is also useful in finding related company profiles, which include strategy of the companies in the industry.
  • Passport also addresses the broad Political, Economic, Social, and Technological trends affecting industries.  This video shows you how to find information from Passport GMID for your PEST analysis.


Mintel has a excellent market research reports that address the grocery industry segment.

  • Simply search for “grocery” to find reports such as “Grocery Retailing.”
  • The market research reports in Mintel cover consumer buying, demand, preferences, market drivers, and much more.


SEC Filings

The 10-k (annual SEC filings) for individual companies in the industry contain financial information for companies, as well as textual descriptions of business strategies, risk factors, competition, and more.  Look in Part 1, Item 1 and Item 1A for this information in a company’s 10-K report.   You will notice that the companies use some of the similar language found in reports like IBISWorld and others.


Statista is great resource to find some extremely useful statistics for you industry.  Simply search for “grocery stores” or “supermarkets”,  or by company or brand  to find stats for your project.

Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete has a lot of useful information that can take your research to the next level. I’ve listed here last not because it is the least important, but because I would us articles and reports from Business Source Complete to fill in the gaps of your research.  You will find Industry Profiles and Trade Publications that can enhance the broad coverage of other industry reports.  Search for “grocery stores” or “supermarkets”.


Top Picks for Company Analysis

The following resources are particularly useful when analyzing specific companies in the industry.


OneSource is another fantastic resource for both company and industry information.

Hoover’s Online

Hoover’s Online has great company and industry information.

  • Use the Company tab to search for a particular company  to find company financials, competitors, company news, and more.
  • Use the Industry Tab to search for your industry terms to find some excellent industry reports.  The industry data comes from First Research, which is the same information found via the First Research interface.

S&P Net Advantage

S&P NetAdvantage  is a also a great tool for researching companies.

Mergent Online

Mergent Online is a great tool for looking at both company and industry information.


Factiva is a great resource for looking for news about companies in the industry.  You will also find company profiles, financials, ratios, and more in the “Companies & Markets” section of Factiva.  This video shows you how to use Factiva effectively when analyzing your company.


In LexisNexis, use the “Get Company Information” search box to search for company information.  In addition to company financial information, you will find company news, company organization and subsidiary information, and company legal/lawsuit information.



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Related Topics: Business Cluster, Class Guides, Industry Guides