Tesco leads way as Northern Ireland's top grocer - but Lidl is fastest-grower

Tesco has maintained its leading position in the north's grocery market in 2018, according to Kantar Worldpanel
Gary McDonald Business Editor

TESCO remains in pole position as Northern Ireland's leading grocer, but Lidl continues to be the fastest-grower, according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The north's overall grocery market grew by 1.2 per cent over the 52 weeks to December 2, with the figures revealing that items like chocolate, crisps and nuts have been popular basket additions this year.

Tesco and Sainsbury's both increased their share by 0.1 of a percentage point to 35.3 per cent and 17.4 per cent respectively.

This meant Tesco held on to its comfortable lead as the largest grocer in Northern Ireland, while an increased market share for Sainsbury's put some distance between it and third placed Asda, which now accounts for 17 per cent of the market.

The average shopper visited Tesco three times more often during the past year, generating an additional £54.1 million for the retailer.

Sainsbury's on the other hand was the only grocer to see a rise in overall shopper numbers – 69 per cent of Northern Irish households visited one if its stores in the most recent 12 months, up 5.3 per cent on last year. In addition, both grocers benefited from shoppers paying a higher average price per pack.

Meanwhile, Lidl remains the fastest growing retailer, with sales up by 9 per cent over the past year helping it increase its overall share of the market to 5.8 per cent.

“Lidl's growth is predominantly thanks to shoppers spending more each time they visit the store, meaning the average Lidl basket is now worth £15.38, an increase of £2.16 on last year," according to Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

He added: “As we move into the Christmas period, Northern Ireland's sweet tooth could be a source of cheer for retailers.

“Sales of sugar and chocolate confectionery increased by 4.8 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively in the past year, and this should be expected to continue as we move into the festive period.

“Far from leaving a bitter taste in the mouth, savoury treats also performed well in the past 52 weeks, with sales of crisps growing by 2.6 per cent and nuts by 3.2 per cent. These festive family favourites can likely expect a further boost to sales as the run up to Christmas and New Year begins in earnest.”

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