Northern Ireland's grocery market down by 3 per cent as prices continue to soar

Grocery sales at the main supermarkets in Northern Ireland are down 3 per cent over the last year, according to Kantar
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE Northern Irish grocery market saw sales drop by 3 per cent in the year to October 3 as inflation stands at 7.1 per cent - the highest on record - according to fresh analysis by Kantar.

Prices continue to increase, and the average price per pack is now 5 per cent higher than the same time last year, with shoppers buying 8.8 per cent less volume per trip.

Rises in average prices are most noticeable in everyday essentials such as milk (up 18.5 per cent), bread (14 per cent) and butter (5.4 per cent).

Over the latest 12 weeks, however, the market saw growth of 3 per cent as shoppers return to store more often (4.5 per cent) and the average price per packs increased by 8.1 per cent.

Consumers in Northern Ireland are preparing for the arrival of Halloween, boosting sales of crisps, chocolate and sugar confectionery, up 25 per cent, 8.2 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively.

Tesco maintained its top position and is the north’s largest grocer with a 35.6 per cent share of the market. It has welcomed an influx of new shoppers in store this year which brought an additional £44.6 million into its tills.

All retailers saw declining sales compared to last year, although Lidl does so at the slowest pace and holds 7 per cent market share.

“Among all retailers, Lidl has experienced the strongest boost of new shoppers, up 4.7 percentage points, which contributed an additional £16.1m to its overall performance,” according to Emer Healy, senior retail analyst at Kantar.

“Asda holds 16.4 per cent share and has seen a 2.4 percentage points gain in new shoppers. Sainsbury’s holds 17 per cent of the market, welcoming more new shoppers which boosted its overall performance by £12.6m.”