Latest grocery figures show slight growth

Total grocery market sales have grown by only 0.1% compared to last year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. The latest grocery figures showed minimal growth for the 12 weeks ending 6 December 2016.

This period saw the smallest growth since June and was the ninth consecutive month where sales have grown less than 1%.

“Although slow growth means a distinct lack of seasonal cheer for the market, the news is more positive for consumers looking to save this Christmas,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

“Last year customers spent an average of £71 on their big Christmas shop, but with falling prices set to continue, shoppers are likely to enjoy a cheaper Christmas this year. All supermarkets are cutting prices, particularly on staples like eggs and butter, with the cost of everyday groceries falling by 1.9%.”

Black Friday generated a small increase of 4% compared to the previous year, although this did little to buoy the overall market.

Out of the main supermarkets, Sainsbury’s performed the best. “Despite the difficult market conditions, Sainsbury’s increased sales by 1.2%, growing across its convenience, supermarket and online business and increasing its market share to 16.7%,” explained McKevitt.

“Consumers continue to be drawn to the retailer’s ‘Taste the Difference’ range, and with sales of champagne and sparkling wine up by a quarter, it seems clear that the grocer is successfully tapping into demand for premium goods. Sainsbury’s recent run of success predates its popular ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’ advert, with the retailer now having grown ahead of the market for three months in a row.”

Meanwhile, as consumers are starting to favour discounters over large discounters, Tesco and Asda have taken a hit. Both have seen sales fall by 3.4%. However, both supermarkets have increased online sales.

Revenue for Morrisons has decreased 2% which, as suggested by Kantar, is partially down to the selling of 130 of its M Local convenience stores.

While the main retailers might be struggling, discounters are holding their ground. Aldi and Lidl have stayed at the combined 10% of the market share achieved last month, with sales growing 15.4% and 17.9% respectively. Kantar highlighted that although consumers might not be doing their entire Christmas shop at the stores, customers were likely to purchase trimmings from the discounters, with each hoping to attract 10 million shoppers over the festive season.

The Co-operative and Waitrose also performed well. The Co-op saw sales grow 2%, resulting in an increased market share of 6.2% while Waitrose has grown revenues by 2.7%, taking its market share to 5.1%.

Kantar Worldpanel

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