Retirees and childless households drive up grocery spend in Northern Ireland

Latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that Tesco remains the dominant player in Northern Ireland
Gary McDonald Business Editor

RETIREES and households without children in Northern Ireland are spending more on their grocery shop compared to a year ago, which has helped the region's overall grocery market to enjoy strong year-on-year sales growth of 1.9 per cent.

And the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, published for the 12 weeks ending September 10, also reveal that Tesco has maintained its dominant position in Northern Ireland.

It currently commands 35 per cent of the overall grocery shop share - which is more than Sainsbury's (17.3 per cent) and Asda (17.2 per cent) combined.

"Shoppers in Northern Ireland have been visiting Tesco 59 times throughout the year, up from an average of 57 trips in 2016," said David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“Tesco’s shoppers are also spending ahead of the curve in Northern Ireland, with the average spend per buyer increasing by £46.10."

He added: “The fastest growing retailer, Lidl increased sales by 7.2 per cent year on year.

"This strong performance is attributable to shoppers spending slightly more on products that are a little more expensive, as average pack prices increased by 3.7 per cent.”

In the Republic, SuperValu remains the largest grocer with a market share of 22.1 per cent, although strong sales growth from Tesco – its highest since April 2012 – has helped narrow SuperValu’s lead to just 0.1 percentage point.

Tesco saw sales grow by 4.3 per cent during the past 12 weeks, compared to the same time last year. Although prices have fallen overall at the grocer, this has been countered by an increase in spending – the average shopper spent €15 more with Tesco than during the same period last year.

Deflation eased slightly compared to last month to stand at 0.4 per cent, although falling prices weren’t enough to stymie overall grocery market growth: up 2.3 per cent year on year.

David Berry added: “As Irish families head back to school, we’ve seen strong performance from a number of lunchbox staples. Sales of cooked meats and bread increased by 3.7 and 3.6 per cent respectively, while crisps posted a particularly strong sales increase – up 12.1 per cent.”

In third place in the Republic, Dunnes Stores has held its share of the market steady at 21.6 per cent year on year while Aldi and Lidl both increased sales (up by 3.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively).

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