Kantar’s latest take home grocery figures for Ireland show that Irish grocery sales fell by 6.5% in the 12 weeks to 15 May 2022.
Irish shoppers are adjusting to increased prices as grocery inflation hits 5.5%, Kantar said, the first time inflation has risen above 5% since August 2013.
David Berry, managing director for Kantar Ireland, commented, "Food and drink prices are continuing to climb, and the impact of this on grocery budgets is now unavoidable for many people. Our research shows the rising cost of living is a key concern for 81% of Irish consumers.
"A staggering 62% expect that they will have to cut back on the amount of food they buy in response to current prices. We’ll be seeing the effects of inflation for months to come."
Shoppers are shifting their behaviour to manage the cost of buying food, including by turning to cheaper alternatives.
Berry explained further, saying, "People are now making four fewer trips to the supermarket on average per month than they were this time last year. Similarly, branded items – a firm favourite when we were treating ourselves more during the COVID-19 lockdowns – previously made up more than 50% of grocery sales in 2020 and 2021."
Private Label On The Rise
He added that there are now "clear signs" that consumers are turning to private label, with brands' share of grocery spend dropping to 49% in the latest 12-week period.
Despite the tough circumstances, consumers have been enjoying the recent warmer weather in the country and are looking ahead to the summer months.
"Shoppers have been enjoying barbecue essentials as the June bank holiday edges closer," said Berry.
"Sales of BBQ meats, like burgers and sausages, and prepared salads have increased by 2% and 8% respectively in the latest 12 week period. Soft drinks have also seen a 5% boost this period, equating to an extra €5 million through the tills."
Retail Market Share
For the sixth consecutive period this year, Dunnes has retained its position as the leader in Irish grocery sales and holds a 22.3% share of the market.
David Berry said, "Sales among all the retailers are still in decline compared to lockdown last year, when people were far more reliant on supermarkets to stock up their cupboards. That said, Dunnes seems to be recovering well from the challenging COVID-19 period.
"The retailer’s current market share is now 1.2 percentage points higher than May 2021, boosted by 98,000 new shoppers in the latest 12 week period."
Tesco is now slightly ahead of SuperValu in the race for second place, each accounting for 21.9% and 21.7% of the market.
Tesco benefited from shoppers visiting the store more often, bucking the general market trend and allowing it to move just ahead of SuperValu.
Lidl holds a 13.1% market share this period.
Aldi follows 0.9 percentage points behind, holding a 12.2% market share.