UK Grocery Sales Continue To Rise Despite 'Beast From The East'

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UK Grocery Sales Continue To Rise Despite 'Beast From The East'

UK grocery sales increased by 2.5% in the 12 weeks to 25 March 2018, despite adverse weather conditions hitting the country, according to the latest market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

"The Beast from the East played havoc with consumers’ usual shopping plans," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

"In the run-up to and during the cold snap, shoppers stockpiled groceries, buying 4% more items than normal, increasing the average value of a trip from £14.99 to £15.80," McKevitt added. "However, they simultaneously visited stores 5% less often, as they stayed wrapped up at home, meaning: overall lost sales from the storm were minimised, to £22 million."

McKevitt highlighted that warming foods and drinks were the "go-to items for customers after braving the snowy weather", with sales of hot beverages and tinned soups increasing by 8.4% and 27.4%, respectively. Additionally, an early Easter saw shoppers stocking up on seasonal treats during the month of March.

"Almost 15 million shoppers picked up Easter eggs last month, while the average household, tempted by promotional offers, was swayed into buying at least two Easter eggs to meet their seasonal chocolate fix," said McKevitt. "Hot cross buns also saw a steep rise, with sales up £7.7 million, compared to this time last year.”


Supermarket Sales

Looking at how the UK's retailers fared during this period, Tesco remains the top supermarket in the country, with market share staying steady at 27.6%, after seeing sales increase by 2.4%.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury's saw market share drop 0.3 percentage points to 15.8%, just ahead of Asda on 15.6%, with Morrisons rounding out the 'big four' on 10.4%.

However, the discounters - Aldi and Lidl - continue to thrive, with both retailers achieving new market share highs in this period, reaching 7.3% and 5.3%, respectively.

“Aldi and Lidl are continuing to disrupt the market," said McKevitt. "As the discounters proceed with the expansion of their store portfolios, over the past 12 weeks 63.5% of all households visited at least one of the retailers.”


Elsewhere, sales were up at the Co-op (+0.1%) and Waitrose (+1.5%), but frozen-food retailer Iceland saw a drop in sales (-0.8%) as well as a loss in market share.

Online sales growth continues to slow, only increasing by 3.6% compared to the same period last year, however, Ocado outperformed the overall online market, with sales growth of 9.3% and market share of 1.2%.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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