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Grocery market grows above inflation

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Figures released today on supermarket share reveal that the two-nation divide continues as upmarket grocer Waitrose and discount supermarket Aldi both posted all-time record market shares.

Grocery share figures from data analysts Kantar Worldpanel show that the grocery market grew above inflation at 3.3 per cent in the 12 weeks ending September 2nd 2012, above the Kantar inflation measure of 2.9 per cent.

Grocery inflation currently stands at 2.9 per cent for the period, continuing the downward trend following last November’s peak of 6.2 per cent, though Kantar warned that this may have bottomed-out due to poor grain harvests.

Over the quarter, Waitrose held on to its all-time record share of 4.6 per cent and continues to outperform the market, reporting growth of 7.8 per cent, while Aldi maintained its all-time record growth of 26.6 per cent.

Aldi’s share was “driven mainly by dramatic growth in spend levels of existing customers - up 36 per cent over the past two years - rather than an increased number of shoppers,” explained Edward Garner, Kantar Director explained.

“Despite ongoing pressures, things seem to be looking up in the grocery market and shoppers are not having to trade down to the same extent as they have done over the past year,” he added.

“We continue to see the diverse nature of households and their shopping habits through Waitrose’s performance.”

Of the big four, Asda saw growth of 4.5 per cent, though this is expected to decline as its acquisition of Netto effects year-on-year comparisons, while supermarket giant Tesco continues to lose its footing.

Dropping to 30.8 per cent compared to 30.9 per cent over the same period last year, Tesco’s share has seen a comparatively small decline on the year-to-date, providing evidence of some success as it maintains its fight-back against competitors.

Garner continued: “Sainsbury’s maintains its robust run and beats the market with 3.8 per cent growth.

“This is part of a longer-term trend which has seen the retailer continue to grow its share for the past nine years. The high-profile Paralympics sponsorship will no doubt provide further support but this won’t be fully seen in the figures until next month.”

Last week, Morrisons reported a like-for-like sales decline of 0.9 per cent over its first half while profit before tax fell two per cent to £440 million, though it is hoped that the online launch of its Morrisons Cellar wine range will boost sales in the coming months.

“The pressure on Morrisons continues with its share slipping from 11.7 per cent a year ago to 11.5 per cent,” Garner concluded.

“However, this is to some extent inevitable, as the retailer presently offers no online ordering and currently only a small number of ‘M Local’ convenience outlets – two areas which are currently major contributors to the growth of its three main competitors.”

Published on Tuesday 11 September by Editorial Assistant

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