Premium Private Label Sales Surge Before Christmas: Kantar
Premium private label ranges in the UK have enjoyed an energetic performance in the weeks leading up to Christmas, research firm Kantar Worldpanel reported Tuesday.
In the 12 weeks ending 4 December, customers shelled out 13% more on these particular lines than they did last year, despite slow supermarket year-on-year sales growth of only 0.7%.
Almost 90% of shoppers are now buying from these top-tier ranges, making up 12% of every shopping trip. Just over 6% of own label purchases came from lines such as 'Tesco Finest' and Sainsbury's 'Taste the Difference', compared to 5.7% last year.
"Despite widespread anticipation of higher prices shoppers are yet to feel the pinch of rising inflation, with a typical basket of everyday groceries 0.1% cheaper than this time last year. However, some categories are beginning to see prices increase, with fresh fish up 5.3% year-on-year, chilled ready meals up 2.3% and beer up 2.1%," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.
Prices continue to fall despite shoppers spending less on promotional items than they did last year, he continued. The five biggest retailers have been putting less effort into sales, instead trying to simplify the shopping experience and offer lower prices every day.
Aldi alone recorded double-digit sales growth over the past 12 weeks, increasing its market share to 6.2%. Its private label 'Specially Selected' brand has helped the retailer increased sales by 10% year-on-year.
Iceland was second, with an 8.6% sales bump expanding its share to 2.2%.
Lidl (+5.7%), Co-op (+2%) and Waitrose (1.1%) also showed increased year-on-year sales.
McKevitt commented on the Big Four's performance: "Tesco’s volumes sales are growing faster than its value sales, particularly in the meat and fresh produce categories. Its value sales remain ahead of the market, increasing by 1.6% year on year as the retailer grew its market share to 28.3%. Sales at Sainsbury’s fell by 0.6%, with market share down 0.2 percentage points to 16.5%, while Asda saw sales fall by 4.7% at a marginally slower rate than in recent months. Reflecting a smaller store estate, Morrisons’ overall sales declined by 1.4%, but the retailer saw particularly strong performance online – recording its highest ever sales in that channel."
Premium private label sales are expected to reach their highest level ever over the Christmas period.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.