The Co-op takes the lead in the healthy grocery race


UK grocers are enjoying significant growth on the back of Britain‘s increasingly healthier lifestyle. Co-op particularly benefitted, coming out on top as the fastest growing non-discount supermarket over the 12 weeks to 31 January. Meanwhile, Waitrose sales slowed down.

Figures released by Kantar Worldpanel today show that the Co-op was also the most frequently visited supermarket, with store visits totalling 19 a week on average, in comparison the market average of 11. This suggests consumers‘ preference to shop frequently but in smaller volumes.

Aldi and Lidl enjoyed continued growth, by 13.7% and 18.7% respectively. “We can expect both retailers to continue to take market share this year as they fulfil their plans for more outlets” said Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

Of the Big Four grocers, Sainsbury‘s performed the best, increasing its sales for the sixth consecutive period by 0.6% – the only chain not to report a decline.

While showing some improvement, Tesco‘s revenues dropped by 1.6%, nonetheless, these were its best recorded results since September last year.

For Morrisons, its ongoing decline lessened to 2.2%. Kantar noted that the supermarket chain‘s revenue “will continue to reflect its disposal of 140 M Local stores and the closure of some larger outlets through the rest of 2016”. While at Asda, sales remained low with a recorded 3.8% decline.

Despite the slowdown at Waitrose, it can revel in its 0.1% increase: the 91st consecutive period of growth for the John Lewis partnership owned grocer. This is the longest run of success for any supermarket to date.

“Consumers are clearly striving for a healthier start to the year and have turned to fresh foods – particularly fruit and vegetables, which have both grown sales by 5%.  Given that they‘re still experiencing like-for-like deflation it‘s a significant revenue growth for both categories, shared across both traditional and discount retailers. Similar growth has been seen in nuts, fresh poultry and fish” commented McKevitt.