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UK Insights

UK shoppers spend an extra half a billion cooling down and enjoying the summer

Fraser McKevitt

Head of Retail and Consumer Insight

Shoppers 18.09.2018 / 08:00


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The latest grocery market share data from Kantar Worldpanel shows Brits have been splashing out.

Widely touted as the hottest summer on record, the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks to 9 September, show it has been an indulgent one for consumers. Spanning the World Cup kick off in June through to the August bank holiday and beyond, the figures show consumers spent £228 million more on alcohol, £178 million more on soft drinks and £74 million more on ice cream, while the overall market grew by 3.8%.

The warm summer has been kind to the supermarkets’ convenience format stores as consumers shopped locally for drinks and barbecue supplies, collectively growing sales by 7.6% compared to last year. Co-op was a particular beneficiary and increased sales by 8.5%, its fastest rate since 2011. Tesco Express also benefited from shoppers staying close to home and performed especially well, contributing to total sales for Tesco rising 1.9%.

As speculation mounts over the launch of Tesco’s discount retailer Jack’s, it’s worth remembering how quickly rivals Aldi and Lidl have grown their market share. In the five years to September 2013 their combined market share increased by 2.4 percentage points to 6.8%. This growth then accelerated and in the subsequent five years the two nearly doubled their share to its current level of 13.1%.  

While it is not yet known which lines Jack’s stores will carry, Tesco’s ‘Exclusively at’ brands such as Eastman’s and Creamfields are proving popular with shoppers. The own-label product lines launched earlier this year and accounted for £90 million of sales over the past 12 weeks – finding their way into 16% of Tesco shopping baskets.

In the overall market, promotional sales fell and accounted for 32.4% of total grocery sales – the lowest level since June 2009. Retailers are looking to offer consistently lower prices on everyday items rather than one-off deals and they have all reduced promotions as a result. 

That being said, consumers may not feel like they have more money in their pockets – grocery inflation has now reached 2.0%, adding £1.64 to each household’s weekly shopping bill. At the current rate, these price increases add up to an extra £85 per home annually.

Aldi was the UK’s fastest growing supermarket in the latest period – sales rose 13.9% with nearly half of this growth coming from the fresh and chilled aisles. Its discount rival Lidl also outpaced the market up 8.3%. Both retailers increased sales of branded products at a much faster rate than overall market growth, though these household brand names still only account for 8% of Aldi’s and 13% of Lidl’s sales. 

Meanwhile Asda’s recovery continues – sales rose 3.1% as the Leeds-based retailer attracted an additional 211,000 shoppers over the past 12 weeks. Asda rolled back prices on branded lines and at the same time sales of its core own-label ranges rose 8.4%. The recently rebranded Waitrose & Partners saw sales rise by 0.8%, up against some challenging comparisons from last year when the retailer had a higher level of price promotional activity. The supermarket’s unbroken run of growth stretches back to February 2009 and market share now stands at 5.1%, down 0.2 percentage points on last year.

Morrisons released positive interim results last week and has increased sales by 3.0% with its premium ‘The Best’ range a particular bright spot, growing four times faster than this overall rate. Sales at Sainsbury’s rose at their fastest rate since December, while its share of the market fell by 0.4 percentage points to 15.4%.  

At Iceland, sales were up by 6.0% supported by its ‘7 Day Deals’ – its core frozen lines did grow, but it was ambient and chilled products which were the best performing for the retailer. Online specialist Ocado increased sales by 7.9%, for a 1.2% share 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’. 

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. 

An update on inflation:

Grocery inflation now stands at +2.0%* for the 12 week period ending 9 September 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, cola 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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