New data from Kantar has revealed that Irish grocery sales grew by 16.4% in the 12-week period to 29 November 2020.
In this period, shoppers spent over €1 billion on groceries, due to the re-imposition of nationwide lockdown measures and the forthcoming Christmas period.
'The Busiest Month'
Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, commented, "November was the busiest month for grocers since the height of the previous national lockdown in June.
"An extra €164 million rang through the tills compared with last year, as Irish shoppers readjusted to eating most of their meals at home."
In the latest four weeks, sales of mince pies generated €82,000, while sales of alcohol soared by 33%, the report said.
Sales of mixers contributed to an additional €721,000 in November as consumers tried to recreate popular cocktails in their homes.
Healy added, "Beyond the seasonal snack aisles, roast dinners were the order of the day and sales of beef grew by 19% while shoppers also spent an extra €12.2 million on vegetables over the past month."
Sales of branded products increased by 18.6% across the market in the latest 12 weeks, with Irish brands like Avonmore, Keoghs, Brennan's and Denny seeing significant sales growth.
Sales of branded products in Aldi and Lidl increased by 32% and 52%, respectively.
The report said that shoppers spent an additional €85 million on household names in the latest four weeks.
Healy commented, "It has been a tough year, so it's no surprise that shoppers are looking for ways to indulge while we're all spending more time at home.
"One of the positives of national and regional restrictions this year has been learning to love the world on our doorstep and to shop local."
Online grocery sales reported growth of 74.8% in the latest 12 weeks, with shoppers spending €54.8 million more than the same period in 2019.
"Shoppers trying out online grocery shopping for the first time were a key driver of growth in this period and they accounted for an additional €31.5 million spent year on year," Healy added.
"Retailers' investment in increasing their online capacity since the start of the pandemic has paid off and people are now making bigger shops more often."
On an average, customers spent €103 more when shopping for groceries online than they did last year.
Dunnes Stores emerged as the retailer with the highest market share, of 22.1%, this period, followed by SuperValu and Tesco at 22.0% and 21.5%, respectively.
Lidl reported the highest sales growth of 24.4% in this period to grow its market share by 0.8 percentage points year-on-year to 12.5%.
Dunnes Stores saw the highest spend per buyer among all the retailers, with shoppers parting with goods worth €7.76 more per trip on an average compared to the same period in 2019.
Tesco and SuperValu saw strong sales growth of 17.0% and 18.5%, respectively, over the past three months.
Aldi saw sales growth of 14.0% with a 12.0% market share.