Irish grocery sales grew 18.8% year-on-year in the latest four-week period ended 1 November, with shoppers spending over €1 billion in supermarkets, according to the latest data from Kantar.
Shoppers added a couple of extra essentials to their baskets, contributing to the growth in sales.
Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, commented, “With dining out officially off the table, and families preparing more meals to eat at home, this was the biggest month for grocery sales since the height of the previous lockdown in June.
“It all feels a far cry from August, when restrictions on eating and drinking out were eased, and the average monthly grocery bill was €200 lower.”
The sales of multipack sweets and pumpkins declined by 40% and 15.5%, respectively as trick or treating for Halloween was hindered due to the lockdown, the report said.
However, Healy noted that the lockdown also led some Irish shoppers to get into the Christmas spirit "unseasonably early".
“They are getting ahead on preparations for the big day and 50% more shoppers have bought their Christmas turkey than had at this point last year, while sales of mince pies are up 36.8% and boxed chocolate sales by 44%,” she added.
Online grocery sales saw 90% year-on-year growth in the latest four weeks, with almost 255,000 customers shopping through digital channels in October.
New online shoppers contributed an additional €30.8 million in online grocery channels, while the size of digital trolleys increased by 9.6%.
Lidl saw the highest sales growth of 21.1% in the latest 12-week period, to hold a 12.7% market share.
Customers spent an additional 50% on branded products to look for ways to enjoy a treat at home, Kantar added.
Dunnes Stores claimed the highest market share of 22.2%, driven by a strong performance in Dublin, where shoppers spent an additional €38.8 million.
SuperValu saw sales growth of 18.0% in the latest 12 weeks, with a market share of 21.9%. The retailer reported 15% growth in the chilled convenience food category.
Tesco reported 14.8% growth in grocery sales to hold a 21.2% market share.
The retailer witnessed the highest increase in trip volume among retailers, with shoppers adding an average of three additional items per shop over the past 12 weeks.
Aldi reported sales growth of 11.7% in this period, driven by an increase in spend per buyer and shoppers adding more items to their baskets.