Grocery inflation in Ireland has hit a new record high of 13.4% in the 12 weeks to 30 October, according to the latest data from Kantar, as households look to manage budgets through a ‘little and often’ approach to shopping.
Senior retail analyst at Kantar, Emer Healy, stated, "On average, families are adding one extra trip per month, [and] we’re seeing a 9% increase in these smaller trips where less than €30 is spent. In comparison, the extra-large shopping trips where households spend more than €150 have declined by 4%."
Grocery sales increased by 4.7% in the latest 12 weeks, following a 4.3% rise in shoppers returning to stores and an 8.7% increase in price per pack, contributing an additional €115 million to the overall market performance.
Take-home grocery sales in the country increased by 5% in the four weeks to 30 October 2022, driven by an 8.5% increase in the average prices paid by shoppers, data showed.
Online sales increased by 13.1% in October, driven by a rise in the number of new shoppers and an increase in the average number of online shopping trips by young families.
"As food and drink prices continue to climb alongside a rise in household bills, the impact on shoppers’ budgets is unavoidable for many Irish consumers," Healy added. "With inflation standing at 13.4% for October, the average annual grocery bill will go from €7,019 to €7,960 – an increase of €941 a year if consumers don’t make changes to what they buy and where they shop. At a basket level, that’s an extra €3.80 on top of the cost of the average shopping trip, which currently stands at €28.20."
Sales of own-label goods grew by 9.4% over the latest 12 weeks, accounting for nearly half (46%) of grocery sales.
Shoppers spent an additional €115 million year-on-year on private-label products, with value own-label ranges witnessing the strongest growth, up 27% with consumers spending €13.3 million more on a year-on-year basis.
Dairy products have the biggest market share (42.2%) within these value ranges, Kantar noted.
Healy added, "It’s interesting that shoppers are also beginning to seek out premium own-label offerings as they move their out-of-home spend in-home as a means of controlling their discretionary spending. As a result, shoppers are spending an additional €5.3 million on premium offerings, including spending an additional €902,000 on toiletries, €800,000 on fruit and €676,000 on chilled ready meals.”
For Halloween, only 18% of shoppers bought a pumpkin this year, compared to 24% in 2021. However, they spent an additional €2.2 million on chocolate confectionery and crisps and €1.8 million on sugar confectionery.
Kantar also noted that fewer people stocked up for Christmas in October compared to last year.
“This time last year 30% of Irish households had already purchased seasonal biscuits, whereas only 23% have this year," added Healy. "This also rings true with chocolate as shoppers are spending €2.1 million less on gifting chocolate and €1.2 million less on seasonal chocolate. The exception to this is mince pies, as consumers have already spent an additional €220,000 on these festive treats compared to this time last year.”
Dunnes Stores emerged as the top retailer in Ireland with the biggest share of the market at 23.1%, growing 7.8% year-on-year.
The retailer saw a 3.5 percentage point increase in new shoppers to stores, which contributed an additional €35.1 million to its performance.
With a market share of 21.9%, Tesco secured second position. It saw sales growth of 6.6%, boosted by more frequent return trips by customers.
SuperValu saw its first period of growth since April 2021, with sales up by 0.5% compared to last year.
Lidl's market share stood at 13.1%, growing 7.3% year-on-year as new shoppers in-store and existing shoppers returning more often contributed an additional €17.7 million to its overall performance.
Aldi's market share stood at 12.7%, up 3.5% year-on-year, as existing shoppers returned to the store more often, contributing to its overall performance, Kantar added.