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UK Insights

Sizzling summer lights up the grocery market

Fraser McKevitt

Head of Retail and Consumer Insight

Shoppers 24.07.2018 / 08:00


Kantar
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Supermarket sales have grown at their fastest rate this year, thanks to football fever and the prolonged hot weather, says Kantar Worldpanel.

England may not have won the World Cup – but its journey to the semi-finals not only helped to kickstart the summer, but supermarket sales to boot. Supermarket sales have grown at their fastest rate this year – up 3.6% – according to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks to 15 July 2018.

Over the past month, football-frenzied customers visited supermarkets an extra 13 million times as they hurried to stock up on World Cup-viewing essentials, with alcohol in particular the stand-out winner. Christmas and Easter aside, the week that the England football team played both Colombia and Sweden saw more spent on alcohol than ever before – a colossal £287 million.

With the hot and sunny weather showing no signs of letting up, al fresco dining has continued to tempt shoppers. Over the past month, sales of firelighters and fresh burgers rocketed by 47% and 30% as customers honed their barbecuing skills. Meanwhile, sun care products and painkillers were both in demand: sales of sun creams jumped by 38%, while nearly a third of all households picked up pain-killing tablets over the past month. 

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The warm weather has not only impacted what customers buy, but where they choose to buy their groceries from. Over the past 12 weeks, Co-op experienced growth of 6.4% – its highest recorded since October 2011 – as shoppers’ desire to maximise the sunshine encouraged them to shop more locally. The past month in particular saw a boost to the retailer’s popularity, with shoppers returning to Co-op stores on average a record 10.1 times.

Asda saw sales jump 3.7% to post its strongest growth in more than five years, and it was the best performing of the big four for the first time since December 2014. Buoyed by a sales increase of 9% to its core, standard own-label lines – which make up 40% of its sales – Asda held market share steady at 15.1%.  The retailer also encouraged an additional 230,000 shoppers through its doors over the past 12 weeks. 

Morrisons posted strong growth of 2.9%, with a market share of 10.5%. Over the past 12 weeks the retailer’s premium line ‘The Best’ outperformed its cheaper own-label options, helping Morrisons to continue a run of growth stretching back to January 2017.

Although Tesco’s convenience Express stores proved popular with shoppers, contributing to Tesco’s overall growth of 2.3%, the grocer’s market share fell back by 0.3 percentage points to 27.6%. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s market share declined by 0.4 percentage points to 15.6%, despite experiencing sales growth of 0.8%. 

Boosted by its title as the official supermarket of the England football team, Lidl saw sales increase by 9.7%. The discounter increased its market share by 0.3 percentage points to 5.4% compared to this time last year. Meanwhile, Aldi returned to double-digit growth – with sales up by 10.9% – to reach a market-share high for the retailer of 7.5%. Aldi and Lidl are now on the verge of hitting a combined market share of 13% for the first time, though the speculation over new entrants to the discount market could mean new pressures on the two retailers.

Sales at Iceland rose by 4.5% as the retailer continued to grow outside its core frozen lines, with the supermarket securing 2.1% market share. Although increasing sales by 2.8%, Waitrose dropped market share by 0.1 percentage points to 5.0%. Ecommerce specialist Ocado experienced sales growth of 8.5% and now accounts for 1.2% of the grocery market. 

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’. 

An update on inflation: Grocery inflation now stands at +1.8%* for the 12 week period ending 15 July 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 butter, colas 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.

Retailer growth figures reported by Kantar Worldpanel relate to overall take home sales, and so include the impact of store openings or closures. Like-for-like sales change is not measured or reported. Calculating like-for-like sales requires a detailed knowledge of store openings and extensions which is information held accurately only by individual retailers.

Kantar Worldpanel will only support data that is published in the context we have presented it and our own interpretation of these findings. Our commentary is based upon our own data and information in the public domain. We cannot be held responsible for any other interpretation of these findings.

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