Beijing: China is now the world's largest food and grocery market, having overtaken the US in terms of sales in 2011, a market research firm said.

British food industry analysts IGD also noted that BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - will make up four of the top five grocery markets by 2015.China's supermarket sector was worth 970 billion dollar at the end of 2011, surpassing the US market, valued at 913.5 billion dollar. The rapid expansion is driven by China's growing economy, rising wealth, and inflationary food prices, the firm said.

China's grocery market is forecast to expand to nearly 1.46 dollar trillion by the end of 2014, three times its worth in 2006, as reported on Sunday.

The firm noted the Chinese are moving from a diet based on rice and pork to a diet of dairy products, wheat, grains and red and white meat, which helped boost global prices."Despite the slowdown, measures to stimulate Chinese domestic consumption present an opportunity for retailers. For example, higher wages could boost disposable income and increase the number of potential customers," said Cecile Riverain, IGD's international research manager.