Grocery price inflation in the UK currently stands at 5.9%, its highest level since December 2011, according to the latest market share data from Kantar.
In the 12 weeks to 17 April, Kantar said that supermarket sales in the UK were down 5.9% compared to the same period last year, while sales are also down compared to the same period two years ago, by 0.6%.
As Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, given current inflation rates, the average UK household will now be exposed to a potential price increase of £271 (€322) per year, which is likely to affect spend in certain categories.
'Clear Flight To Value'
"We’re seeing a clear flight to value as shoppers watch their pennies," he said. "The level of products bought on promotion, currently at 27.3%, has decreased 2.7 percentage points as everyday low price strategies come to the fore.
"The major retailers are listening to shoppers’ concerns, with Asda launching its Just Essentials line, Morrisons announcing that it is cutting the price of many everyday goods, and Tesco locking in savings through its Clubcard strategy.”
The UK's Office of National Statistics recently reported that inflation is at a 30-year high in the country.
In terms of the performance of the UK's biggest grocers, discounters Aldi (+4.2% increase in sales) and Lidl (+4.0%) were the strongest performers during the period, with the two now accounting for a combined 15.4% of the market, up from 5.5% a decade ago.
“Over one million extra shoppers visited Aldi and Lidl respectively over the past 12 weeks compared with this time last year," McKevitt noted. "Both retailers achieved record-breaking market shares, with Aldi now holding 8.8% while Lidl stands at 6.6%."
Market leader Tesco (27.3% market share) was the strongest performer of the UK's 'Big Four' supermarkets, reporting a 4.8% decline in sales compared to the same 12-week period last year.
Sainsbury's reported a 7.7% decline in sales, Asda's sales were down 10.3%, and Morrisons' sales were down 10.5%. Notably, Aldi's market share (8.8%) is now just 70 basis points behind Morrisons (9.5%) – could the 'Big Four' soon become a 'Big Five'?