Biggest Christmas ever for Irish supermarkets
The Irish Grocery market reached €1bn of sales in the month of December, with the biggest Christmas ever meaning record grocery sales for a single month in Ireland.
Growth was volume driven as shoppers got more for less with promotions hitting a five year high.
Key findings from Kantar’s Worldpanel Division, which were presented as part of the first in a series of Kantar Talks events for Ireland in 2020, include:
Shoppers got more for less.
- 61% of shoppers said they intended to spend the same this year as last year – but these shoppers actually cut their spend by almost 1% by availing of competitive prices
- We still chose to treat ourselves, spending more on premium products
- But 1/3 of Christmas spend was on promoted items – up 5 percentage points on last year
- The vegetable aisle provided some of the best deals for shoppers, with 42% of purchases on promotion vs 27% last year.
Christmas started early but we took it easy on the day:
- Categories involved more in the build up to Christmas (confectionery, cheese, biscuits etc) outperformed the traditional Christmas Day categories (meat, veg, alcohol etc)
- Shoppers spent €4 less on meat year on year – opting for smaller turkeys (-1kg) or moving to turkey crowns
- 7% of households planned to have vegan/vegetarians option on the table
- Not everyone got as ‘merry’ at Christmas, with 32k fewer alcohol shoppers in the aisles this year – but performance was mainly due to shoppers buying a little less
- Hosts were key to Alcohol sales, with those that planned to have a party spending more year on year and “guests” driving the decline.
A midweek Christmas led to a bumper Monday:
- Celebrating on a Wednesday gave shoppers a weekend off with an extra day to shop, resulting in the biggest trading day ever
- 55% of households made a grocery shopping trip on Monday 23rd leading to €87.6m going through the tills – the biggest day in Grocery ever
- Making a last minute trip meant more in the trolley as we couldn’t afford to forget anything and trips of €100+ were up by €15m.
Brands are back with a bang:
- Brands contributed €22m to the total market’s growth this Christmas
- As Private Label sales now dominate throughout the rest of the year, Christmas is increasingly vital for brands, with seasonal performance making or breaking the whole year
- Distribution in that final week before Christmas is vitally important as the season kicks off earlier and earlier, and shoppers are willing to increase their volume purchasing of their favourite brands
- Alongside Brands, Premium Private Label ranges grew sales this Christmas, with Standard and Value Private Label ranges declining.
Speaking at the event, David Berry highlighted how retailers navigated these shopper trends to win Christmas spend:
“Dunnes contributed most to the market performance growing sales by 4% to reach a market leading 24% share. Brands were central to Dunnes performance adding €12m in sales year on year. Tesco were one of the retailers who saw that strong Bumper Monday sales lift. While promotions were prevalent in the market, SuperValu retained a strong price positioning which allowed them to grow value as well as volume sales. Both Aldi and Lidl increased the promotional levels instore. Aldi benefitted from a strong ad campaign with Kevin the Carrot making a welcome return. Lidl had the strongest growth in the market this Christmas driven primarily by its Private Label range – in a market driven by Branded growth – this is a testament to the strength of their seasonal own brand range.”