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Our mega £4.1 billion grocery splurge . . .

Average Northern Ireland household spent an all-time high of £5,540 on their food shopping

Shoppers in Northern Ireland spent an additional £45.3 million on groceries in the last year despite spiralling food inflation, according to analysts Kantar
Shoppers in Northern Ireland spent £4.1 billion on groceries in 2023 despite spiralling food inflation, according to analysts Kantar

Northern Ireland consumers spent a record-breaking £4.1 billion on their grocery shopping in 2023 - despite food costs being at their highest in decades.

The figures from analysts Kantar also show that the average household spent an all-time high of £5,540, which is £605 more than the year before.

Shoppers in Northern Ireland also made 195 million trips to their preferred supermarkets over the year – 525,000 more than 2022 and again the highest on record.

Grocery inflation stood at 14.4% in December, the third consecutive month of decline (down to the level last seen in June).

“Although inflation levels are falling, they are still exceptionally high, and consumers in Northern Ireland are still facing significant pressures on their household budgets,” according to Emer Healy, business development director at Kantar.

“Retailers are putting more emphasis on own-label lines and promotions to attract shoppers through the door.

“Over 21% of sales were made through a promotional offer, a level this high has not been seen since November 2020.

“Own label remains popular and has grown 16.6% year-on-year with shoppers spending an additional £263 million in 2023 versus the previous year.

Kantar business development director Emer Healy
Kantar business development director Emer Healy Kantar business development director Emer Healy

“But during the festive season consumers did reach for more branded goods. Brands grew 9.9% year-on-year, with shoppers spending an additional £204 million on such goods compared to the year before.

“Brands currently hold 54% share versus own label at 44% share,” Ms Healy added.

Over Christmas consumers in Northern Ireland turned to some firm favourites and spent an additional £4.9 million on chocolate confectionary, £3.8 million on vegetables and £1 million on seasonal biscuits.

Tesco maintains its position at the top of the table as the north’s largest grocer with a 34.9% market share, growing 12.4% year-on-year. It saw strong growth in more frequent trips alongside attracting new shoppers which put an additional £106 million into its tills.

Sainsbury’s commands a 16.7% share, growing 13.1% year-on-year, as growth in new shoppers and more frequent trips contributed an additional £87.8 million to its overall performance, while Asda has a 15.9% slice of the pie, growing 11.7% year-on-year. More frequent trips contributed to an additional £45.3 million overall.

Lidl had the strongest growth in new shoppers alongside more frequent trips, which together contributed an additional £39.6 million to its overall performance. It now holds a 9.2% market share in Northern Ireland.