Co-op boasts best growth since 2011 throughout summer

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The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel found convenience spending was a major winner of the extended summer heatwave as shoppers bought alcohol, soft drinks and ice cream on a whim.

The latest report published this morning covers the 12 weeks to September 9, including the World Cup kick off in June through to the August bank holiday.

Kantar found consumers spent £228 million more on alcohol for that period, £178 million more on soft drinks and £74 million more on ice cream, while the overall market grew by 3.8 per cent.

“The warm summer has been kind to the supermarkets’ convenience format stores as consumers shopped locally for drinks and barbecue supplies, collectively growing sales by 7.6 per cent compared to last year,” said Kantar head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt.

“Co-op was a particular beneficiary and increased sales by 8.5 per cent, its fastest rate since 2011. Tesco Express also benefited from shoppers staying close to home and performed especially well, contributing to total sales for Tesco rising 1.9 per cent,” he added.

Promotional sales fell across the market, accounting for 32.4 per cent of total grocery sales – the lowest since June 2009.

As Tesco prepares to launch its discount contender Jack’s tomorrow morning, McKevitt argued that retailers should be “looking to offer consistently lower prices on everyday items rather than one-off deals and they have all reduced promotions as a result”.

“That being said, consumers may not feel like they have more money in their pockets – grocery inflation has now reached 2.0%, adding £1.64 to each household’s weekly shopping bill. At the current rate, these price increases add up to an extra £85 per home annually.”

Aldi was the UK’s fastest growing supermarket for the quarter, with nearly half of its 13.9 per cent in sales growth coming from its fresh and chilled aisles. Lidl also outpaced the market, rising 8.3 per cent.

Meanwhile within the Big Four, Asda sales were up 3.1 per cent as the supermarket giant attracted an additional 211,000 shoppers during the quarter thanks to rolling back its price strategy for branded items.

Morrisons increased sales by three per cent while Sainsbury’s saw sales rise at their fastest rate since December although its share of the market fell by 0.4 per cent to 15.4 per cent.

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