Beer and bottled water buoy supermarket sales says report

Beer sales rose across Ireland in the last 12 weeks, buoyed by the heatwave and World Cup, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE summer heatwave and World Cup have contributed to a 1.3 per cent increase in sales at Northern Ireland's supermarkets in the 12 weeks up to July 15 - with bottled water and lager among the big items flying off the shelves.

Figures from Kantar Worldpanel reveal that overall growth in the Northern Irish market was "slow but steady" when compared to last year.

It says a number of things may have influenced the surge of bottled water sales – in particular the recent weather, speculation surrounding water shortages and the hosepipe ban.

Allied to this a Europe-wide shortage of Co2 may have stifled sales of carbonated water, which grew at a third of the rate of still water, with retailers and manufacturers shifting their focus to stills where necessary.

In the north, Tesco has added a further 0.2 percentage points to its overall market share during the three-month period and has seen sales growth of 2 per cent year on year.

Although the market as a whole is seeing a fall in shopper numbers, Tesco has sustained its performance with higher average prices (shoppers spent an additional £26.1 million in the latest 52 weeks compared to last year).

The gap between Sainsbury’s and Asda has widened slightly with Sainsbury’s now accounting for 17.4 per cent of sales, ahead of Asda on 17.2 per cent.

Sainsbury’s growth has been driven by shoppers spending, on average, an additional 90p each visit, meaning that over the course of the year the retailer captured an additional £42.15 from each shopper.

Meanwhile Lidl has posted the strongest growth this period, with sales up by 5.4 per cent overall.

"Despite still having the lowest average pack price of all the retailers at £1.04, the average price paid at Lidl has increased by 7 per cent over the last year, which has been the key driver of its growth,” according to Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

In Ireland as a whole, bottled water take home sales grew 27.3 per cent and while there was a 11.6 per cent fizz for lager sales (equivalent to an additional seven million pints).

Mr Faughnan added: "Despite Ireland’s association with stout, it's lager that is actually leading the way – 42.4 per cent of households bought lager at least once in the past 12 weeks, as shoppers took advantage of the sun and the football.”

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