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UK Insights

Sun shines on Co-op and grocery brands

Fraser McKevitt

Head of Retail and Consumer Insight

Shoppers 21.08.2018 / 08:00


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Data from the latest UK Grocery Market Share analysis from Kantar Worldpanel.

The growth of branded products has outstripped that of own-label lines for the first time since May 2015 according to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks to 12 August 2018. Heavily branded categories – such as savoury snacks, ice cream and soft drinks – performed particularly well over the hot summer months, helping branded growth of 3.9% overtake that of total own label. This compares to total grocery market growth of 3.5%. 

Consumers’ willingness to spend that little bit extra to fully enjoy the summer sunshine has helped push brands ahead of their own-label counterparts. At Tesco and Sainsbury’s branded growth has outstripped own-label for a while and – as the two biggest retailers in the grocery market – this has contributed to the market shift. More expensive premium own-label lines across the market are still growing strongly though – up 6.3%. 

The grocery market experienced strong growth buoyed in particular by the recent heatwave. Over July, thirsty Brits spent an additional £67 million on alcoholic drinks, while non-alcoholic beers were cheered on by the sun with sales up 58% compared to this time last year.  Soft drinks also increased – up 28%. Meanwhile, Love Island not only tugged on shoppers’ heartstrings but also their purse strings as men’s skincare products jumped by 16%.

Co-op continued to feel the summer glow, experiencing its fastest rate of growth in nearly seven years. The last time Co-op saw sales growth of 7.8% it was still benefiting from the acquisition of Somerfield, so its performance is particularly notable this period.  Consumers’ current preference to shop locally when the sun is shining has helped Co-op attract an additional 263,000 new shoppers through its doors.  The retailer also saw the average customer visit 22 times over the 12-week period, contributing to a market share increase of 0.3 percentage points to 6.6%.

With growth up 2.7%, Morrisons regained its position as the fastest-growing of the big four supermarkets. Over the past 12 weeks Morrisons cut back on promotions and also gained 231,000 new shoppers, 66% of which were more affluent ABC1 customers.

Experiencing growth of 2.6% – the second-strongest growth of the big four – Asda’s market share dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 15.2%. Asda has bucked the trend when it comes to brands versus own labels.  Its private lines grew ahead of brands – both its standard-tier range and premium ‘Extra Special’ range experienced a sales increase of 8%.  Over the past 12 weeks two-thirds of Asda’s growth came from family households.

Tesco saw strong growth from its Express convenience stores and increased total sales by 1.8%, though the retailer’s market share dropped by 0.5 percentage points to 27.4%.  Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s experienced its fastest rate of growth since January 2018, up 1.2%. The grocer was boosted by a strong online performance and the growth of its premium ‘Taste the Difference’ range.  Sainsbury’s market share declined by 0.4 percentage points to 15.5%.

Aldi witnessed double-digit growth of 12.6%, helping the retailer up its share of the market to 7.6% – a 0.6 percentage point increase on this time last year.  Over half of the retailer’s growth came from the fresh and chilled aisles, with meat, dairy and ready meals performing particularly well.  At Lidl, sales jumped by 8.6% to help the retailer secure a 5.5% share of the market.  The grocer’s premium own-label sales rose by nearly a third, while sales of branded products increased by 37%.

Sales at Iceland rose by 3.8% to hold market share of 2.1%. Over three-quarters of Iceland’s growth came from fresh and ambient food and drink and these sectors accounted for over half of the retailer’s sales. Despite experiencing sales growth of 2.4%, Waitrose dropped market share by 0.1 percentage points to 5.0%. E-commerce specialist Ocado achieved sales growth of 8.5% and increased market share by 0.1 percentage points to 1.2%. 

Source : Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's Notes

Please note: Kantar Worldpanel supermarket share data has been reworked as of March 2018, effective from the release covering the 12 w/e 25 February 2018.  This is part of an ongoing process to ensure we maintain the best and most accurate read of the grocery market.  The change has had a marginal impact on retailer shares and reported performance; growth trends remain unaffected as historical data has been reworked for consistency. 

For reworked 12 w/e historical data please contact us.

Please note that four week ending or six week ending retailer share data should not be used in media reporting. The 12 week ending data stated in this release covers a longer time period which means it is a superior indicator of retailer performances and trends.

For all publicly-quoted Worldpanel data, users of our research (including media) must ensure that data is sourced to ‘Kantar Worldpanel’.

These findings are based on Kantar Worldpanel data for the 12 weeks to 12 August 2018. Kantar Worldpanel monitors the take home grocery purchasing habits of 30,000 demographically representative households across Great Britain. Kantar Worldpanel grocery market share data includes all expenditure through store tills, excluding petrol and in-store concessions. All data discussed in the above announcement is based on the value of items being bought by these consumers. 

An update on inflation: Grocery inflation now stands at +1.9%* for the 12 week period ending 12 Aug 2018. Prices have been rising since the 12 weeks to 1 January 2017, following a period of grocery price deflation which ran for 30 consecutive periods from September 2014 to December 2016. Prices are rising fastest in markets such as cola, butter and canned fish.

*This figure is based on over 75,000 identical products compared year-on-year in the proportions purchased by shoppers and therefore represents the most authoritative figure currently available. It is a ‘pure’ inflation measure in that shopping behaviour is held constant between the two comparison periods – shoppers are likely to achieve a lower personal inflation rate if they trade down or seek out more offers.

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