Christmas comes early for premium own label lines
The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks ending 4 December 2016, reveal a particularly strong performance for premium own label ranges in the run up to the festive period. Shoppers are spending 13% more on these lines than they did last year against a backdrop of continued slow growth for supermarkets overall, where year-on-year sales increased by just 0.7%.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “Top-tier private label finds its way into 12% of shopping trips, with 88% of consumers now buying from these lines. In the past 12 weeks, 6.3% of own label purchases were from premium lines such as Tesco Finest and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference, well ahead of the 5.7% recorded last year. We’ve seen particularly impressive performances from Morrisons’ The Best, which saw sales increase by 35%, and Asda Extra Special which grew by 15%. Over Christmas it’s likely that premium lines will record their highest ever sales figures as even more shoppers trade up to treat their loved ones.
“Despite widespread anticipation of higher prices shoppers are yet to feel the pinch of rising inflation, with a typical basket of everyday groceries 0.1% cheaper than this time last year. However, some categories are beginning to see prices increase, with fresh fish up 5.3% year-on-year, chilled ready meals up 2.3% and beer up 2.1%.
“Prices are still falling overall despite shoppers now spending less on promoted items than they did this time last year. Some 36.9% of spending was on offers during the past 12 weeks, down from nearly 40% in the 12 weeks to December 2015. Promotional activity has dipped across all five of the biggest retailers, reflecting ongoing efforts to simplify shopping and offer more of an everyday low pricing model, which relies far less heavily on promotions.”
Aldi was the only retailer to record double-digit sales growth over the past 12 weeks: its premium Extra Special brand helped the discounter increase sales by 10.0% year on year. As a result, Aldi’s share of the grocery market has increased by 0.6 percentage points to 6.2%. The next fastest-growing retailer was Iceland, with an 8.6% sales uplift contributing to a 0.2 percentage point increase and bringing the grocer’s share of the market to 2.2%. Other retailers growing sales over the past 12 weeks include Lidl, which saw a 5.7% uplift, Co-op, which saw an increase of 2.0%, and Waitrose, up 1.1% year on year.
Fraser McKevitt continues: “Tesco’s volumes sales are growing faster than its value sales, particularly in the meat and fresh produce categories. Its value sales remain ahead of the market, increasing by 1.6% year on year as the retailer grew its market share to 28.3%. Sales at Sainsbury’s fell by 0.6%, with market share down 0.2 percentage points to 16.5%, while Asda saw sales fall by 4.7% at a marginally slower rate than in recent months. Reflecting a smaller store estate, Morrisons’ overall sales declined by 1.4%, but the retailer saw particularly strong performance online – recording its highest ever sales in that channel.”