Late Easter sunshine heats up grocery market

The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar show total year-on-year sales increased by 2.0% during the 12 weeks to 21 April 2019.  Bolstered by a record-breaking £2.5 billion spent during the Easter week, this is the fastest rate of growth the overall sector has experienced in 2019.

Growth of 8.6% pushed Lidl’s market share to a new high of 5.7%, up 0.3 percentage points compared with last year.  Fraser McKevitt said: “Half of Lidl’s sales now come from the fresh and chilled aisles and its performance this period was fuelled by customers spending an extra £14 million on dairy items and £13 million on fruit, vegetables and salads.  Fellow discounter Aldi was again the fastest growing supermarket, a position it has held since July 2018.  Aided by its store-opening programme, Aldi attracted an additional 823,000 shoppers through its doors to grow sales by 11.6% and increase its market share by 0.6 percentage points to 7.9%.”

Co-op and Ocado were the only other retailers to gain market share on last year, moving to 6.1% and 1.3% respectively.  Fraser McKevitt comments: “Co-op has been able to capitalise on periods of warmer weather as people shop closer to home and, with a 4.5% increase during the past 12 weeks, it has now grown sales continuously for a full year.

“The convenience retailer continues to perform well when it comes to small shopping baskets, accounting for 17% of all trips where people spend less than £20.”  

As the dust settles following last week’s CMA decision, Tesco’s position as the UK’s largest supermarket remains secure. McKevitt said: “More than three quarters of British households visited Tesco in the past 12 weeks, over five million more than each of its two closest rivals.  Though sales were up 1.0%, growth was behind the market which meant a loss of share compared with last year to 27.3%.

“Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s and Asda are continuing to battle it out for second place.  Two thirds of the public were aware of the proposed merger: the majority of those who knew about the CMA ruling didn’t have an opinion as to whether it was a good or bad outcome, while only one third welcomed the decision.

“Sainsbury’s has reclaimed second position despite a sales decline of 1.2%.  The supermarket achieved double-digit growth online which coincides with the launch of its first mobile-only payment store in central London this week, further demonstrating its drive towards digital innovation.”

Asda increased sales by 0.3% to take market share of 15.2%. “The average Asda shopping basket increased in value and shoppers visited more often.  Asda remains strong in its northern heartland with the north of England and Scotland accounting for more than 40% of sales,” said McKevitt.

“Despite movement at the top of the table, the phrase ‘big four’ continues to hold meaning and Morrisons’ 10.3% market share means it sits comfortably ahead of the fifth largest retailer, Aldi.  

Sales at Iceland and Waitrose rose by 1.4% and 0.7% respectively with Iceland holding market share of 2.1% and Waitrose falling back by 0.1 percentage points to 5.0%.

Total Till Roll – Consumer Spend 12 weeks to
22 April 2018
Share 12 weeks to
21 April 2019
Share Change
£M %* £M %* %
Total Grocers 26,830 100.0 27,370 100.0 2.0%
Total Multiples 26,359 98.2 26,894 98.3 2.0%
Tesco 7,406 27.6 7,477 27.3 1.0%
Sainsbury’s 4,258 15.9 4,208 15.4 -1.2%
Asda 4,161 15.5 4,173 15.2 0.3%
Morrisons 2,810 10.5 2,827 10.3 0.6%
Aldi 1,949 7.3 2,174 7.9 11.6%
Co-op 1,605 6.0 1,676 6.1 4.5%
Lidl 1,437 5.4 1,561 5.7 8.6%
Waitrose 1,366 5.1 1,375 5.0 0.7%
Iceland 562 2.1 570 2.1 1.4%
Ocado 332 1.2 355 1.3 6.8%
Other Multiples 473 1.8 499 1.8 5.5%
Symbols & Independents 471 1.8 476 1.7 1.0%

*Percentage share of total grocers


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