Insight: grocery sales rise at fastest rate since 2013
New figures on the grocery sector reveal that the overall market grew by 3.7% in the 12 weeks to 23 April.
The figures from Kantar Wordpanel show this to be the fastest rate since September 2013 and worth almost £1 billion in additional sales to the sector.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “All 10 major retailers are in growth for the first time in three-and-a-half years, when we last saw like-for-like grocery inflation as high as it is now. While prices do look set to rise further, the current inflation rate of 2.6% is still below the average level experienced by shoppers between 2010 and 2014.
“A strong Easter also contributed to the market’s growth this period. In the past 12 weeks British shoppers splashed out £325 million on Easter eggs with almost three quarters of the population buying at least one. Consumers plumped for more premium confectionery lines this year – the average price paid for an Easter egg rising by 8.6% to £1.65 – while 20 million packs of hot cross buns were bought in the Easter week alone.”
Morrisons’ ‘The Best’ line performed well and helped the supermarket to attract an increasing number of more affluent shoppers through its doors. This resulted in Morrisons becoming the fastest growing big four retailer with a sales uplift of 2.2%. However, the growth was behind the overall market and meant Morrisons’ total market share slipped 0.2 percentage points to 10.4%.
Kantar found that Asda increased year-on-year sales for the first time since October 2014 thanks to a quarter of a million additional shoppers and a strong performance online, although its overall share fell by 0.4 percentage points to 15.6%.
Sainsbury’s sales rise of 1.7% was the greatest it has seen since June 2014, with growth coming from all three channels – its convenience stores, larger supermarkets and online. However, stronger growth among its rivals meant market share fell to 16.1% in the 12 weeks.
Tesco returned to growth with sales up 1.9% after sales were hit last period by a late Easter. Its own label sales increased by 6%, growing across all price tiers – cheapest, standard and premium – while share fell by 0.5 percentage points to 27.5%.
Iceland, Aldi and Lidl, where sales rose by 9.3%, 18.3% and 17.8% respectively, all grew ahead of the market. Aldi and Lidl achieved new record high market shares of 6.9% and 5%, while Waitrose’s share was stable at 5.2% despite a 3.1% increase in sales helped by strong growth in its ‘Waitrose 1’ range. At Co-op, sales rose by 2.6% while market share fell by 0.1 percentage points to 6.1%.
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