Just one third of UK households now consider themselves to be in a 'comfortable' financial situation, with 43% describing their situation as 'managing' and 22% 'struggling', new data from Kantar has found.
Like-for-like grocery prices have risen by 7.0% in the UK over the most recent four weeks, compared with the same period last year – the highest level of inflation since May 2009, Kantar said.
“People are really feeling the squeeze at the supermarket tills and they’re having to stretch their budgets further to accommodate rising prices," commented Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.
"To put the most recent numbers into context, if you were picking up supplies for a family fry up over the long weekend with toast, eggs, sausages, bacon, and beans it would cost you £6.83 – that’s a significant 40p increase on last year."
Slight Pickup In Sales
In the 12 weeks to 15 May, supermarket sales in the UK fell by 4.4%, Kantar data showed, although in the most recent month, sales were down by just 1.7%.
Kantar attributes this small pickup in sales to the Platinum Jubilee weekend at the end of May/beginning of June, to mark Queen Elizabeth's 70 years on the throne. It noted that at the time of the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, supermarket sales rose by 10%.
“While we’re all keen to celebrate in style, shoppers will be carefully considering any unnecessary expense and prices are significantly different from the last Jubilee," McKevitt added.
In terms of the performance of the UK's biggest grocers, Lidl outperformed the market with a 6.0% increase in sales in the 12-week period, just ahead of rival Aldi, which grew by 5.8%.
Aldi now sits on 9.0% market share, a new record high that puts it just half a percentage point behind Morrisons (9.5%).
Another strong performer in the period was Tesco, which increased its share by 0.4 percentage points to 27.4% – the 17th month in a row that Britain's largest supermarket operator has gained share.