Co-operative back in growth ahead of overall market
The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks ending 19 July 2015, show a slow growth in the British grocery market. Overall sales have increased by 0.8% compared with a year ago, with stronger growth being enjoyed by the smaller retailers.
Fraser McKevitt, head of consumer and retail insight at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “The Co-operative has returned to growth for the first time since July 2014, increasing its sales by 1.0%. The Manchester-based grocer’s focus on its convenience offer has been rewarded with an increase in shopper numbers, which have risen by 133,000. While The Co-operative’s growth is slightly ahead of the market, its overall share of 6.3% has remained the same as last year.”
Despite a fall in sales of 0.3%, Sainsbury’s has edged its market share of 16.5% ahead of Asda, which now stands at 16.4%. Sainsbury’s has returned to its position as the nation’s second largest supermarket for the first time since January, boosted by non-food sales, its Sainsbury’s Local outlets and faster market growth in the south of the country, where it operates a larger number of stores.
Growth has accelerated at Waitrose, where sales have risen by 3.0%. Customers have taken advantage of the recently introduced ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ initiative to push market share up to 5.0%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared with last year.
Fraser McKevitt continues: “The continued slow growth of the overall market can be explained by minimal volume growth and lower like-for-like prices, both as a result of cheaper commodity prices and the fierce competition between supermarkets. Comparable groceries are now 1.6% cheaper than a year ago, meaning prices have been falling since September 2014, although they are projected to start rising again by early 2016.”
Aldi grew by 16.6% while Lidl saw growth of 11.3%, meaning both have moved to new market share highs of 5.6% and 4.0% respectively. Morrisons was the best performer among the ‘big four’ retailers, although sales fell back by 0.1%. Meanwhile, sales at Tesco fell by 0.6% and at Asda by 2.7%. At Iceland sales were up by 3.0%, coinciding with its recent ‘Power of Frozen’ advertising campaign.
An update on inflation
Grocery inflation now stands at -1.6%* for the 12 week period ending 19 July 2015. This means shoppers are now paying less for a representative basket of groceries than they did in 2014. This is an increase from the -1.7% reported last month and means that while prices are still falling, the rate of decline is slowing. Falling prices reflect the impact of Aldi and Lidl and the market’s competitive response, as well as deflation in some major categories including eggs, butter and bread.