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UK Grocery Growth Sees Slowdown Over Christmas: Nielsen

Published on Jan 8 2019 10:00 AM in Retail tagged: UK / Nielsen / Grocery / Christmas

UK Grocery Growth Sees Slowdown Over Christmas: Nielsen

The UK grocery market saw growth slow to +1.8% in the four weeks to 29 December, according to industry data from Nielsen.

This is approximately half the growth posted by the sector in the same period last year (+3.7%), Nielsen said, with high levels of price promotions and vouchering encouraging shoppers to ‘chase the deal’ in a bid to spend less.

The number of shopping trips increased in the period, however the average spend per visit decreased by 3% in the four-week period, Nielsen said.

At the same time, however, online grocery sales were up 9%, to account for a 7.5% share of all grocery sales.

Category Performance

The strongest category growth in the period was in typically festive categories such as Soft Drinks (+5.8%), Confectionery (+5.5%), Crisps and Snacks (5.3%) and Beer, Wine and Spirits (3.8%), Nielsen said, with savings being made in Meat/Fish/Poultry (-3.4%) and packaged grocery (-1.1%).

“Growth slowed this Christmas in comparison to last,” commented Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight. “We can attribute this to several factors: consumer grocery shopping habits are changing, with shoppers now opting to spend less on doing one ‘big shop’, instead preferring more frequent, smaller trips to the supermarket, spreading the cost across multiple retailers to increase choice.

“Moreover, with over half (57%) of consumers not confident about their finances, shoppers are more budget-conscious and the various promotions and price cuts are a response to help them manage their household budget. Finally, the incremental growth continues to come from the key categories of drinks, confectionery and snacks.”

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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