Shoppers forego 'big shop' for more frequent supermarket visits says Kantar

Shoppers in Northern Ireland are making more frequent supermarket visitors according to analysts Kantar
Gary McDonald Business Editor

SHOPPERS in Northern Ireland made a dozen extra trips to the supermarket last year, new figures show.

But they're not filling their trolleys as much, instead sacrificing the so-called 'big shop' for more frequent smaller basket-fills, according to Kantar.

The figures also show that the back-to-school routines have boosted sales of breakfast and packed lunch staples, including cereals, yoghurts and bread in recent weeks.

And with Christmas less than 100 days away, retailers have already been ramping up their festive activities, with sales of chocolate boxes and gifts soaring by 65 per cent over the last four weeks.

In Northern Ireland Tesco remains the dominant force, with over a third of the total market, although its total share did fall back a shade measuring in last 52 weeks to September 8.

Kantar's consumer insight director Charlotte Scott said Northern Ireland grocery sales continued to grow at 1 per cent during year.

“Consumers are buying less each time they shop, but this is offset by the fact that they're visiting the supermarkets more often, on average heading to the grocers nearly 12 extra times over the course of the year.

“Volumes have declined by 0.4 per cent, a slight softening, with a 1.5 per cent increase in prices driving growth in the overall market.”

She added: “Tesco's market share dropped by 0.3 percentage points to 35 per cent, and while it was once again the only big three retailer to achieve growth, this was a modest 0.1 per cent.

“Tesco is following a similar trend to the overall market, with the average number of items bought per trip down by 14.4 per cent, although shoppers made an additional nine trips to the retailer over these 52 weeks.”

Sales at Sainsbury's and Asda declined by 0.2 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively. Sainsbury's attracted an additional 30,000 customers over the past 12 months, with 71 per cent of Northern Irish households visiting the retailer over the year, but smaller baskets and less frequent trips have contributed to an overall decline in sales.

Ms Scott added: “Lidl is the only retailer to buck the trend and increase its market share this period, growing by 0.4 percentage points. Sales were up 7.6 per cent, helped by an additional 8,000 customers and an increase in the average basket size to 15 items per trip compared to 14 last year.”

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