Supermarket chain Iceland has recorded “ahead of the market” growth, with sales up 8.8%. Grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks ending 26 February 2017, show supermarket sales grew at their fastest rate since June 2014 – up by 2.3% compared to the same time last year.
Like-for-like inflation has doubled since last month to stand at 1.4% during the past 12 weeks. However, when placed in their longer-term context, these price increases are still fairly minimal. While consumers may be starting to feel a very slight pinch, increased inflation has led to overall market growth. Simultaneously, combined sales at the UK’s four largest supermarkets increased by 0.5% year on year. This is a timely reminder that despite the huge interest in the discounters during recent years the big four remain a force to be reckoned with: they still hold just over 70% of the market, with almost 99% of the population shopping in a Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda or Morrisons during the latest quarter.
Lidl became Britain’s fastest growing supermarket during the past 12 weeks – with sales up by 13.0% – while Aldi grew almost as quickly, increasing sales by 12.9% to reach a record market share of 6.3%. Meanwhile Co-op and Waitrose both increased sales by 1.7% and 2.9% respectively.
There were signs of changing shopping habits too. Having peaked at just over 40% of sales in 2015, the proportion of groceries sold on promotion continues to decline, falling to 34.3% during the past 12 weeks – its lowest level since October 2009. The most dramatic shift has been a move away from multi-buy promotions, with shoppers spending half a billion less on these types of deals than last year.