Meat & Fish Retailer of the Year goes from strength to strength

Discounter Aldi has seen its sales grow 15.6%, taking its market share to 6.9% for the 12 weeks to 10 September 2017.

This news continues a successful week for the retailer, after it was named Meat Trades Journal’s Meat & Fish Retailer of the Year at the SuperMeat & Fish Awards. It also won the Best Overall Product for its Specially Selected Salmon Wellington.

It was a solid period for discounter Lidl, also, as it was the fastest-growing retailer for the timeframe, seeing sales rise by 19.2%, taking its market share to a record high of 5.3%.

Collectively, Aldi and Lidl now account for almost £1 in every £8 spent in Britain’s supermarkets. Ten years ago, this figure stood at just £1 in every £25. In the past three months, 63% of shoppers visited one of these two retailers, up from 58.5% last year.

Overall, supermarket sales have increased 3.6% compared to the same period for last year, figures from Kantar Worldpanel have indicated.

“We haven’t seen sustained market growth of this kind since May 2013,” commented Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel. “A 1.5% increase in the volume of goods going through the tills has contributed to this growth, while the remainder of the overall sales increase is down to higher prices.

“Like-for-like grocery inflation now stands at 3.2%, slightly ahead of the headline CPI rate and down 0.1 percentage points on last month. The average British household spends almost £4,200 in the grocers each year, so a fall in inflation, which we expect to see as we approach the end of the year, will be a welcome relief.”

McKevitt pointed out that disappointing August weather did result in a difficult month for traditional summer categories.

While the discounters experienced a good period, 98% of households shopped in at least one of the big four retailers over the three-month period.

“Tesco’s recovery is becoming more entrenched,” added McKevitt. “Sales have grown continually since April this year and are up by 2.7% in the past 12 weeks, though the retailer’s market share remains under pressure, squeezed by 0.3 percentage points to 15.7% despite an average sales increase across its convenience, supermarket and online channels of 2.1%. The retailer’s strategic move away from temporary promotions continues and only 35% of consumer spend is now on promoted items; this time last year the figure stood at 41%, which remains the average for the rest of the big four.”

Meanwhile, Asda managed to attract 482,000 shoppers compared to a year ago. This is the fastest new shopper acquisition experienced by the supermarket in over three years. Average spend at the retailer is £25.74, according to McKevitt, resulting in the highest spend of any grocer.

In Iceland, sales increased for the 18th consecutive period and are now up 4% on a year ago, although market share is flat at 2.1%.

Sales for Waitrose also increased, by 2.4%. This was despite a fall in profits reported last week. It managed to keep hold of its 5.3% share of the market, meaning it is level with Lidl. However, the gap is expected to widen, due to Lidl’s rapid sales growth.

Co-op was unable to share in the joy of its counterparts, as sales fell for the second consecutive month, dropping 0.3% to a market share of 6.3%. Online retailer Ocado saw sales grow by a respectable 10.1%, with 834,000 households shopping with the retailer, giving it its highest-ever penetration of the population.

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