Hot streak for retailers as shoppers fork out on barbecues

And Kantar predicts bumper booze sales as the Euros kick off in June

The better weather has led to the start of barbecue season as consumers in Northern Ireland forked out £826,000 on fresh sausages and £684,000 on chilled burgers and grills in May, according to Kantar (Alamy Stock Photo)

A sunnier turn in the weather has meant a hot streak for retailers in the north as shoppers have been spending big on barbecue items, according to latest figures from analysts Kantar.

Consumers forked out £684,000 on chilled burgers and grills in May, £826,000 on fresh sausages - and an additional £3.4 million on beer and lager.

And over the last 12 weeks alone, consumers in Northern Ireland have spent a combined £6.4million more on beer, lager and savoury snacks than in the same period last year.

“Brighter days have definitely kick-started the barbecue season,” according to Emer Healy, business development director at Kantar.

Kantar senior retail analyst Emer Healy
Emer Healy, business development director at Kantar

And she is predicting bigger booze sales in the weeks ahead, adding: “The men’s Euros start in June, and we tend to see an uplift across many categories when there are major sporting events, especially alcohol.”

The latest Kantar figures show that in the year to May 12, some £4.24 billion ran through the tills in the north - up 8.7% year-on-year, and £341 more than in 2023.

The average household spent an all-time high of £5,602, which was up £437 year-on-year. Take-home grocery sales grew, with shoppers visiting store more often (an average of 4.5 trips more than last year), though the number of packs bought continues to fall year-on-year by 0.3%.

Own label ranges remain popular, growing 9.4% year-on-year with shoppers spending an additional £160 million on the products versus last year.

Tesco maintains its position at the top of the table in Northern Ireland with a 35.2% share of the market. More frequent trips and new shoppers contributed a combined an extra £85.5m to its overall performance.

Sainsbury’s comes next with a 16.9% share (an additional £151.6m went through its tills) and Asda has a 16.1% slice of the pie after a boost in trip frequency, volume per trip and new shoppers.

Lidl continues to grow its market share, currently sitting at 9.2%. It welcomed new shoppers in store alongside more frequent trips, which contributed £9.3 million to its overall performance.