New Year’s resolutions lead to healthy grocery sales

The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks to 27 January 2019 show the sector remains in growth – up 1.7% compared to this time last year – boosted in part by the strong performance of fresh produce.  However, despite an overall sales increase year-on-year, total till roll sales fell £1.5 billion compared with the month of December.  Replicating a common January trend, shoppers have again been keeping a watchful eye on grocery bills following last month’s record-breaking Christmas grocery spend.   

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “Looking back on 2018 as a whole, one of the most notable consumer trends is the shift to a more plant-based diet.  Today, 1% of all households include a vegan, 5% have a vegetarian and 10% have flexitarians in their ranks.  This move has contributed to consumers eating a total of 4.4 billion meat-free dinners in 2018, an increase of 150 million meals on the year before. 

Aldi and Lidl have continued their strong run of form: 18.3 million households shopped in at least one of the discounters over the past 12 weeks, spending an average of £204 – up £8 compared with this time last year.  With sales up 9.1%, Aldi was the fastest-growing supermarket, increasing its market share by 0.5 percentage points to 7.5%.  Meanwhile, Lidl’s market share rose by 0.3 percentage points as sales growth clocked in at 7.3%.     

McKevitt said: “With the exception of the discounters, Co-op was the only retailer to gain market share over this 12-week period.  This now stands at 5.9% – up 0.1 percentage points on this time last year.  An additional 346,000 consumers visited its stores, helping to buoy sales of its top-tier Irresistible range by 9%.  The Co-op’s strongest growth was focused in the capital and, with more stores set to open this year in London and the south east, this trend is likely to continue.”

Tesco’s centenary commitment to ‘celebrate 100 years of great value’ has helped the grocer increase sales by 1.0% – its fastest rate of growth since September 2018.  Its Exclusively at Tesco fresh food lines performed particularly strongly, with total sales reaching £130 million.  Tesco’s market share now stands at 27.7% – down 0.2 percentage points on this time last year.       

Despite sales at Morrisons rising by 0.4%, market share fell to 10.6% – down 0.2 percentage points.  Fraser McKevitt said: “Morrisons’ recent announcement that it will hire 500 new apprentices for its counters could prove a savvy move: 41% of its customers already shop at the retailer’s Market Street stalls.” 

Asda’s double-digit online performance contributed to growth of 0.7%, though the retailer’s market share declined 0.2 percentage points to 15.3%.  Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s saw sales fall by 0.3% while its market share dropped by 0.4 percentage points to 15.9%.  Waitrose returned to growth this period with sales up 0.2% – the retailer’s market share dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 5.1%. 

Iceland grew ahead of the market – up 2.3% – recording 11 successive periods of growth.  Nearly half of the supermarket’s growth was channelled through its core frozen lines, with ambient groceries and alcohol also performing well.  Ocado held market share steady at 1.1% and saw sales rise by 1.0%. 

Total Till Roll – Consumer Spend 12 weeks to
28 January 2018
Share 12 weeks to
27 January 2019
Share Change
£M %* £M %* %
Total Grocers 28,639 100.0 29,116 100.0 1.7%
Total Multiples 28,170 98.4 28,666 98.5 1.8%
Tesco 7,990 27.9 8,068 27.7 1.0%
Sainsbury’s 4,654 16.3 4,638 15.9 -0.3%
Asda 4,431 15.5 4,463 15.3 0.7%
Morrisons 3,080 10.8 3,091 10.6 0.4%
Aldi 1,994 7.0 2,175 7.5 9.1%
Co-op 1,654 5.8 1,712 5.9 3.5%
Lidl 1,441 5.0 1,546 5.3 7.3%
Waitrose 1,486 5.2 1,490 5.1 0.2%
Iceland 652 2.3 667 2.3 2.3%
Ocado 316 1.1 319 1.1 1.0%
Other Multiples 471 1.6 497 1.7 5.5%
Symbols & Independents 470 1.6 450 1.5 -4.1%

*Percentage share of Total Grocers

Get Our E-Newsletter - Weekly email news from Poultry News
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Share.