Warm weather and royal wedding brings glow to grocery figures

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The recent spate of hot weather combined with the so-called “Meghan Markle effect” sparked strong growth for the grocery market, which rose 2.7 per cent on last year.

Grocery market share data from Kantar Worldpanel revealed that consumers were in the mood for a food shop in the run-up to the royal wedding and FA Cup Final weekend, as grocery sales experienced a £415 million spike on Friday, May 18.

Two sets of warm bank holidays also meant shoppers were firing up their barbecues, with Kantar reporting a boost in month-on-month sales of burgers (39 per cent), sausages (12 per cent) and ice cream.

Looking at the wider market, Kantar said Morrisons had experienced sales growth of 2.9 per cent in the 12 weeks to May 20, marking its 19th consecutive period of growth.

Asda saw its average spend per trip rise by 56p to £26.88, clocking in a sales growth of 2.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s first increase in promotional activity in three years helped boost sales by one per cent year-on-year, although its market share fell back by 0.2 per cent for the quarter.

Kantar Worldpanel consumer specialist Chris Hayward said: “The sun shone on the grocery market over the past month with record-breaking temperatures, a bank holiday weekend and royal wedding fever all contributing to a bumper period.”

He added: “Morrisons has been enjoying a successful run of form. The retailer has now celebrated 19 consecutive periods of sales growth and has held market share at 10.5 per cent.”

Lidl and Aldi continued to impress consumers, with Lidl becoming the only bricks-and-mortar retailer to experience double-digit sales growth in the 12 week period, rising 10.4 per cent.

Aldi also continued its run of strong performances, with sales up 6.7 per cent and its market share rising 0.3 per cent.

Elsewhere, Nielsen also revealed sales had soared for grocers during a “late spring heatwave”, with year-on-year sales up five per cent for food in the 12 weeks to May 19.

Nielsen’s Total Till figures found supermarkets had experienced the best non-seasonal growth in a four week period since July 2013, possibly spurred on by the unseasonably cold spring up until that point.

“This growth is well ahead of inflation, indicating that despite any underlying concerns shoppers may have around balancing the monthly household budget, they are willing to spend on food and drink,” Nielsen head of retailer insight Mike Watkins said.

“This is likely to be driven by a combination of the early May bank holiday, a royal wedding and unseasonably hot weather over the period, which encouraged shoppers to visit more often to indulge and celebrate.”

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