Online sales now account for 5.2% of the Irish grocery market, close to double that of a year ago (2.7%), according to the latest market share data from Kantar.
According to the data for the 12 weeks to 24 January, some 12% of Irish shoppers purchased groceries online in the first four weeks of 2021, surpassing previous records.
Irish shoppers spent an additional €142.8 million on groceries in the 12-week period, compared to the corresponding period the previous year, with households with children spending €172 more in the most recent four weeks, due to the closure of schools.
Elsewhere, while 'Veganuary' appeared to take a bit of a back seat, with 15,000 fewer Irish households purchasing meat-free alternatives, many consumers did try to give 'dry January' a go, as sales of non-alcoholic beer were up 84%.
In terms of the performance of Ireland's biggest grocers, Lidl was the stand-out, seeing value sales up 25.6% year-on-year, with the discounter now holding 11.9% market share.
SuperValu (22.1% market share) saw sales up 18.5%, while Tesco (21.9% market share) saw sales rise 16.5%, with both retailers bolstered by their online presence.
According to Kantar, Tesco saw the biggest increase in trip size among all the grocers this period, with shoppers adding on average 3.5 more items to their trolleys.
Market leader Dunnes Stores (22.6%) saw the lowest growth of all the major grocers, with sales up 11.3%, however shoppers to its stores spent more than at any other retailer.
The January period also saw some uncertainty following the completion of the Brexit process, with Kantar retail analyst Emer Healy saying that some categories were affected.
“All eyes have been on our supermarket shelves following the Brexit deal," she said. "We have seen some impact from the temporary disruption in the fresh fruit aisles and sales of tropical fruit, strawberries, and soft fruit all fell this month as shoppers struggled to get their hands on imported produce. But there has also been a boost for homegrown Irish staples and sales of vegetables have increased by 18.5% in the latest four weeks.
"Stable grocery inflation of 1.6% in January also suggests that shoppers aren’t feeling an additional pinch on their wallets just yet.”
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.