Supermarket sales grew at the fastest rate since 2014, despite inflation rates doubling and overall retail sales declining.
Kantar Worldpanel’s grocery market share figures have shown that in the 12 weeks to February 26, supermarket sales grew by 2.3 per cent year-on-year.
Like-for-like inflation doubled in the same period to 1.4 per cent, as basic goods like butter tea and fish all saw a five per cent hike in prices. Despite this, many prices including bacon, eggs and crisps also fell.
“While consumers may be starting to feel a very slight pinch, increased inflation has led to overall market growth,” Kantar Worldpanel’s head of retail insight Fraser McKevitt said.
“Simultaneously, combined sales at the UK’s four largest supermarkets increased by 0.5 per cent year on year.
“This is a timely reminder that despite the huge interest in the discounters during recent years the big four remain a force to be reckoned with: they still hold just over 70 per cent of the market, with almost 99 per cent of the population shopping in a Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda or Morrisons during the latest quarter.”
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Of the Big 4 grocers, Morrisons performed best by racing ahead of its rivals with a 2.6 per cent rise in sales, solidifying its place in the top four with a 10.6 per cent market share.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s also posted growth levels of 0.6 and 0.3 per cent respectively, with the former posting growth for the sixth quarter in a row.
However, both supermarkets’ share of the market continued to be ebbed away by competition from the discounters.
Meanwhile according to data from Nielsen, Aldi and Lidl’s combined market share hit 12.3 per cent for the first time in the 12 weeks to February 25, the equivalent to £1 in every £8 spent on groceries.
Lidl’s sales shot up by 13 per cent, marking it as the fastest-growing grocer, with Aldi hot on its heels with 12.9 per cent growth, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
Once again Asda was the only supermarket to post a drop in sales, but with a drop of 0.8 per cent this is an improvement and marked its best performance since November 2014.
Sales of promoted items across the sector also saw a significant drop of 34.3 per cent in the same period.
Multibuy promotions saw a sales decline of £500 million compared to last year.