Sales of groceries in Northern Ireland enjoy strongest growth spurt in four years

Consumers spent more on groceries in most supermarkets in March, according to figures from Kantar
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE grocery market in Northern Ireland has grown by more than 2 per cent in the last year as canny consumers cram more into their shopping trolleys, new figures from Kantar Worldpanel reveal.

And most of the retailers - ranging from the biggies like Tesco and Sainsbury through to the budget stores like Tesco - have encouraged shoppers to spend more.

Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “The Northern Irish market has really kicked back into gear, experiencing growth of 2.1 per cent compared to this time last year – its strongest year-on-year growth since May 2014."

He added: “Tesco continues to pull further ahead of the field. It encouraged shoppers to splash out an extra £72.80 on groceries compared to this time last year, contributing to sales growth of 3.3 per cent.

"Sainsbury's has also performed well, increasing its market share to 17.3 per cent to remain the second largest grocer in the market.

"Lidl has seen the greatest year-on-year growth of all the major supermarkets at 6.8 per cent, with shoppers spending an extra £1.37 per trip.

"And although Asda experienced growth of 1 per cent as more customers visited its stores more often, its market share has fallen 0.2 percentage points to 17.1 per cent.”

During the same data collection period in the Republic (the figures cover the 52 weeks to March 25), the grocery market brushed off the Beast from the East to post strong sales growth of 3.8 per cent.

Sales of Easter eggs and seasonal chocolate confectionery in March rocketed by 75.2 per cent compared to this time last year, while Tesco experienced its strongest sales growth in over six years – up 7.1 per cent.

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