Fuller trolleys helps push up grocery market by 2.6 per cent

Shoppers have been picking up an average of 3.7 per cent more items each time they visited their supermarket.
Gary McDonald Business Editor

CUSTOMERS putting more into their baskets and trolleys led to the north's overall grocery market grow by 2.6 per cent in the 52 weeks to September 5, according to latest statistics from Kantar.

Throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns of the past year, shoppers have been picking up an average of 3.7 per cent more items each time they visited their supermarket, the analysis shows.

And Tesco has retained its crown as the region’s largest grocer, enjoying a 3.2 per cent increase in sales as its shoppers bought 5.3 per cent more products.

Sainsbury’s grew by 1.9 per cent this period, says Kantar, as shoppers visited the retailer four more times than they did the previous year.

Asda’s sales rose by 2.5 per cent as shoppers made additional trips to its stores and added extra items to their baskets. Both these factors helped the grocer to maintain its 16 per cent share of the market.

Consumers continue to respond well to Lidl’s offer, and it held on to its title as the fastest growing retailer, with sales up 12.2 per cent. It benefited from shoppers visiting 14.2 per cent more frequently than they did this time last year.

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, said: “Looking at the more recent picture, grocery sales dipped by 5 per cent in the latest 12 weeks as shoppers nudged back to their pre-pandemic routines.

“The easing of restrictions has meant people are eating out of their homes more whether in restaurants or work canteens and so they don’t need to buy as much food from the supermarket. That change has seen volume sales fall by 4.8 per cent over the past three months.

“People aren’t cooking from scratch as much as they did last year, which maybe reflects life getting busier again.

“Consumers spent £4.7 million less on home cooking staples in the latest 12 weeks. It seems like a lot of people took the chance to get out the kitchen and enjoy Northern Ireland’s record-breaking temperatures this summer, and the good weather saw sales of chilled drinks soar by 11.4 per cent.”

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