The latest grocery market share figures has shown that all 10 major supermarket retailers have grown by 3.7 per cent, the fastest rate since September 2013.
This growth is worth almost £1 billion in additional sales to grocery retail, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s figures covering the 12-week period to April 23.
The grocers with the biggest sales growth were Aldi at 18.3 per cent, followed by Lidl at 17.8 per cent and Ocado at 10.8 per cent.
Easter was a major contributor to the sector’s overall growth, with Brits spending £325 million on Easter eggs while 20 million packs of hot cross buns were sold in one week alone.
“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,” Kantar’s head of retail insight Fraser McKevitt said.
“While prices do look set to rise further, the current inflation rate of 2.6 per cent is still below the average level experienced by shoppers between 2010 and 2014.”
Similar figures from Nielsen showed that overall, year-on-year takings at supermarket tills during the four weeks ending April 22 went up by 8.6 per cent.
However, because the timing of Easter distorted the annual comparison, Nielsen looked at annual growth across the last 8-week period – where last year’s Easter was included – which revealed sales rose 2.8 per cent, the highest growth this year.
Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight believes this should counterbalance the recent “rather downbeat” stories about consumer spend in general.
“Whilst consumers are more likely to be uncertain around spend, we don’t expect a dramatic change in grocery shopping behaviour this year,” he said.
“As long as real incomes don’t come under too much pressure and employment remains high, shoppers will begin to adapt to moderately rising grocery prices, albeit this could be by modifying how much they spend in other retail channels.”
While the sector enjoyed a growth in overall sales figures, in terms of market share all but four grocers declined slightly, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
Aldi and Lidl continued their upwards trajectory by growing from six per cent to 6.9 per cent and 4.4 per cent to five per cent respectively, year-on-year.
Iceland is the only other grocery retailer to have grown in market share, from two per cent to 2.1 per cent year-on-year, while Waitrose held firm and maintained its 5.2 per cent market share.
Nielsen’s market share figures were similar to that of Kantar Worldpanel, showing year-on-year growth for Aldi, Lidl and Iceland at eight per cent, 5.2 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.