Shoppers snapping up more chocolate and booze

Alcohol sales were up 13.1 per cent over the last 12 weeks in Northern Ireland supermarkets, according to Kantar
Gary McDonald Business Editor

NORTHERN Ireland shoppers' love affair with chocolate and booze continued last year according to latest grocery market share figures from retail analyst Kantar.

Over the last 12 weeks, which takes in the Easter period, chocolate confectionery and alcohol sales grew by 20.4 per cent and 13.1 per cent respectively year-on-year.

It comes as a study by psychiatrists from Kings College in London reveal that more of those aged between 55 and 74 are now drinking at levels 'indicative of probably alcohol dependence' as a result of the lockdown.

Kantar figures show that the overall grocery market in the north grew by 10.3 per cent in the 52 weeks to April 18.

Over the short term, growth slowed to 0.3 per cent in the latest 12 weeks compared with the same period last year, when shoppers were clearing the shelves to prepare for the first national lockdown.

Throughout a year of restrictions and people staying at home more, shoppers have made 20 fewer trips to the supermarket on average, but the volume per trip soared by 14.3 per cent.

Tesco maintained its position as Northern Ireland’s biggest grocer with 35.5 per cent of the market this period. Growth of 10.7 per cent added an extra £126 million to its overall sales.

Sainsbury’s grew by 10 per cent, with bigger baskets and more frequent trips adding an extra £50 million to its takings, while Asda’s sales rose by 8.4 per cent this period.

Lidl was the fastest growing retailer and increased overall sales by 17.9 per cent. Customers adding more items to their baskets contributed an additional £29.6 million to Lidl's overall growth.

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