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Retail

Irish Grocery Sales To Hit A Record In December, Kantar Forecasts

By Dayeeta Das
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Irish Grocery Sales To Hit A Record In December, Kantar Forecasts

Irish grocery sales are set to see ‘a record-breaking festive period’, surpassing €1.4 billion for the first time in December, market research firm Kantar has noted.

The forecast follows a 7.2% increase in take-home grocery sales in the four weeks to 26 November 2023, the latest data showed.

Shoppers visited stores more often in November, making an average of 21.3 trips over the month, which is up by 4.4%, while volumes per trip saw a decline of 4.4% compared to last year.

Emer Healy, business development director at Kantar’s Worldpanel division, commented, “We are on course for a record-breaking festive period, with shoppers spending an unprecedented amount at supermarkets this Christmas. It’s always a bumper time for Irish grocers, with consumers buying, on average, 11% more items than in a typical month.”

Grocery price inflation declined for the seventh month in a row, to 8.6%, in the 12 weeks to 26 November 2023, Kantar added.

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The cost of a Christmas dinner for four has risen by 3.2%, which is well below the overall average growth in price per pack (+5.4%), with some festive items even falling in price.

Healy added, “Brussels sprouts and Christmas pudding are down – [by] 0.6% and 22%, respectively – compared to last year, so there’s no excuse for consumers not to enjoy them this festive season.

“We expect Saturday 23 December to be the busiest day in store this year, as €96 million in value sales rang through the tills on Friday 23 [December] last year.”

Other Highlights

The percentage of packs sold on promotion rose by 1.9%, compared to last month, to 26.7% – up by 15.3%, year on year.

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Sales of own-label products increased by 10.4% in the latest 12 weeks, but saw a 0.4-percentage-point decline, compared to last month.

Premium own-label products saw sales go up by 10.6%, with shoppers spending an additional €13.4 million on these items, compared to last year.

Own-label value share stood at 46.6%, with brands holding 48.5% – up by 1.1% versus last month – as shoppers turned to trusted brands in the lead-up to Christmas.

Healy explained, “Retailers are pushing own-label lines and promotions to get Irish shoppers through the door. However, it seems that consumers are also reaching for branded goods, as they look to indulge over the festive season, spending an additional €92 million – up [by] 6.3% – on these products, with branded seasonal biscuits and take-home confectionery proving particularly popular – up [by] 12.9% and 12.4%, respectively – and growing ahead of the overall branded market.”

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Online sales increased by more than a quarter (25.7%), with shoppers spending an additional €37.3 million on the channel, compared to last year.

Top Retailers

Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Lidl all grew ahead of the total market – in terms of value – in the latest period, Kantar noted.

Dunnes Stores witnessed a new record market share of 24.2%, to retain the top spot, with growth of 11.7%, year on year, driven by a 2.2-percentage-point increase in new shoppers.

With a market share of 23% and growth of 11.4%, year on year, Tesco ranked second. It witnessed the strongest frequency growth, of 11.2%, among all retailers.

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The market share of SuperValu stood at 20.6%, with growth of 6.2%.

SuperValu shoppers made the most trips in store, compared to the other retailers, with an average of 22.6 trips.

Lidl saw growth of 10.4%, year on year, with a market share of 13.2%, while Aldi held 11.7% of the market, with growth of 1.4%.

Read More: Sainsbury’s Sees Biggest Jump In Market Share In A Decade: Kantar

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