A number of factors are at play, but the biggest one is that people are buying more and more food.
The UK’s population grew by 7.7% in the decade to March 2018, with households consuming more than £1.3 trillion worth of food, according to the Office for National Statistics.
“We are seeing the same trends in terms of population growth,” said Nick Houghton, director of retail consultancy Deloitte.
“This is a trend that we haven’t seen before.”
But while many retailers are getting a boost from shoppers with more disposable income, they are not necessarily seeing a big jump in sales.
While the number of supermarkets in the UK increased by 4.5% last year, that was down from 6.4% the year before.
Retailers were also hit by a drop in the number in the first half of 2019, as the Bank of England slashed its interest rates.
The ONS also said that retail sales fell in May and June.
There was no immediate reaction from the government.