Cheese delivering firm growth
Dairy’s strong performance continues this period, with the market maintaining a growth rate of 3.7% in the 12 weeks to 21 May. This puts growth ahead of total grocery once more and by a slightly bigger margin than last period (0.3ppt up from 0.1ppt).
Butters, spreads and margarine, cream and eggs all continue to deliver stand-out value growth but another sector continuing a positive move into growth in recent periods is cheese - specifically pre-packed cheese.
A key driver of this upturn has been a move out of long-running price decline into positive price growth in the past two periods. In part, this has been driven by a gradual pull back on promotions, with 38% of sales on promotion, down from 44%. The growth of more premium own label cheese sectors is also driving value. While value own label (priced at £4.58/kg on average) has seen decline of -5.6% in the past year, the higher priced premium (£9.72/kg) and named creamery (£9.00/kg) have grown by 7.9% and 19.2% respectively.
This trend of premiumisation within the sector is matched with long term growth in frequency and static trip volumes. So for now, higher prices are not yet affecting frequency or the amount we’re buying per trip as is might be expected. In fact we see the number of occasions cheese was consumed in the last year increase by 193 million - whereas the previous year it only increased by 21 million - as it increasingly fulfils more needs for consumers, particularly around health and enjoyment.
*Average prices over 52 weeks