Average household spent an all-time high of £5,598 in last 12 months says Kantar

But Asda Income Tracker says NI’s spending power remains weak at just £112 per week

 Shops like Tesco are already stocking Easter eggs
Shoppers in Northern Ireland spent 16.8% more on Easter eggs this year compared to 2023, according to Kantar

A record £4.24 billion in take-home groceries rang through the tills of Northern Ireland’s supermarkets in the year to April 14, according to figures from retail analysts Kantar.

That’s up 9.7% year-on-year, and saw the average household spent reach an all-time high of £5,598, up £482 year-on-year, with shoppers visiting stores more often, making an average of five more trips than last year.

But the figures come as the latest Asda Income Tracker reveals that spending power in Northern Ireland remains weaker than any other UK region.

Overall, it says households had £233 a week left over when all essential bills were paid, which was £21.50 a week higher than in March of 2023.

However, the figure for Northern Ireland families is just £112 a week, a £199 discrepancy when compared to the strongest value witnessed in London.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, this represents a increase of £8 for local families, though discretionary income remains 21.3% below its peak of quarter one 2021, before the cost-of-living crisis took hold.

Kantar says the market figures were boosted by an extra splurge over Easter, when local shoppers indulged in all things chocolate, splashing out an additional £4.2 million on confectionery (7.2% more than in 2023).

That was even stronger for Easter eggs, which were up 16.8% year-on-year, with shoppers spending an additional £2.1 million compared to last year.

Family spending power in the north remains the lowest in the UK, according to the latest Asda Income Tracker
Family spending power in the north remains the lowest in the UK, according to the latest Asda Income Tracker

Kantar says that two thirds of Northern Irish households (67%) purchased at least one Easter egg over the 12 week period to April 14.

Grocery inflation fell for the seventh month running, but the regional figure of 10.7% for April is still exceptionally high when compared to Republic (2.9%) and Britain (3.2%).

With consumers still facing significant pressures on their household budgets, retailers continued to put emphasis on own-label lines and promotions to attract shoppers through the door.

Own-label lines grew by 10.9% year-on-year, with shoppers spending an additional £183 million on these ranges versus last year. Brands grew slightly behind the market at 9.5% year-on-year and hold 54.4% value market share.

Tesco remains at the top of the table as Northern Ireland’s largest grocer with a 35.1% market share, followed by Sainsbury’s (16.9%), Asda (16.1%) and Lidl (9.2%).