Burger sales plummet in grocery as rain stops play

Burger sales in the grocery sector dropped by 25% as a poor summer halted the barbecue season.

According to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks ending 13 August 2017, burger sales fell by a quarter, which represents an £8 million (m) value sales drop compared to the same period in 2016.

This drop in sales was attributed to the poor weather, with Met Office statistics showing that the UK received 22% more than the average rainfall in July. Sausage sales, on the other hand, remained steady, with more consumers opting for premium lines.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retailer and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Sales of burgers slumped by 25% – an £8m loss year on year – as rain dampened the nation’s appetite for barbecues. In contrast, sausages managed to escape the summer downturn thanks to a growing taste for posh bangers: one-third of those purchased during the month were from premium own-label lines, as retailers persuaded shoppers that sausages should be enjoyed beyond the barbecue.”

Overall supermarket sales grew by 4% year on year, with Lidl seeing success over the period, with an 18.9% sales growth. The discounter grew its market share to 5.2%, an increase of 0.7 percentage points year-on-year. This rise was put down to its fresh produce and alcohol offerings.

Aldi wasn’t far behind in terms of growth, with a sales rise of 17.2%. The big four retailers also all grew sales over the 12 weeks, as did Waitrose. The Co-op was the only retailer to see a sales drop (0.4%) over the period.

McKevitt added: “All four of Britain’s biggest grocers managed to grow sales for the fifth consecutive period, a run of collective success not seen since 2013. However, this welcome period of sustained growth hasn’t been enough to entirely offset pressure from the discounters: the big four now account for just 69.3% of the UK grocery market – down from 76.3% five years ago – and that looks set to fall further in the coming months.”

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