Record grocery spend from NI shoppers

Shoppers in the north spent record average of £4,331 on groceries in the past year, up £92 compared on two years ago, according to Kantar
Gary McDonald Business Editor

NORTHERN Ireland shoppers spent a record average of £4,331 on groceries in the past year.

That's up by £92 compared with two years ago, despite purchase volumes decreasing thanks to higher prices.

The figures are contained in the latest grocery market share report from Kantar Worldpanel, covering the 12 weeks ending September 9, which showed a growth of 1.4 per cent among Northern Ireland supermarkets.

Among individual retailers Tesco has experienced another strong period, posting sales growth of 2.2 per cent and edging its market share up to 35.3 per cent, its highest share since February, and prior to that since January 2015.

Having been neck and neck as recently as November of last year, Sainsbury’s has pulled ahead of Asda in recent months, and a gap of 0.2 percentage points now separates the retailers.

Sainsbury’s now accounts for 17.3 per cent of grocery sales in Northern Ireland, while Asda’s share fell slightly to 17.1 per cent.

Lidl posted the strongest overall sales growth in the past year at 6.7 per cent, enabling it to hold its share of the market at the record level of 5.7 per cent achieved last month.

In the Republic the summer heatwave continued to provide a boost for the market, and for the seventh consecutive period all five of Ireland’s major grocers recorded increased sales, the longest run since December 2017.

David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Competition in the grocery market has rarely been fiercer. All the major retailers are in growth once again this period, and it’s almost neck-and-neck in the race for market share.

"Just half a percentage point separates the leading three retailers in the Republic. Tesco leads the way, registering 22.1 per cent of grocery sales, followed by SuperValu at 21.7 per cent and Dunnes Stores at 21.6 per cent.

"This healthy competition is good news for shoppers, leading to a fall in the price of food and drink across Ireland."

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