Autumn chill puts Sunday lunch back on the menu
Shoppers have returned to seasonal favourites as supermarket spending cools off, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks to 7 October 2018. Overall sales grew 3.2% compared to the same 12 weeks last year. Though this is a slight slowdown from the highs reached during 2018’s hot summer, sales are above 3.0% for the fourth period in a row and well ahead of the average market growth rate over the past five years, 1.7%.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “Consumer spending often slows in early autumn, after the excesses of summer barbeques and before the festive season kicks off. The arrival of colder weather and darker evenings has inspired consumers to embrace hearty comfort foods and stock up on Sunday roast staples; shoppers spent £51 million on whole chickens, £62 million on roasting joints and £4 million on Yorkshire puddings in September alone.
“Christmas will be here before we know it and some families seem to be getting into the spirit already – 8% of households bought mince pies last month, spending a total of £4 million with 70 days still to go before the big day.”
In the 12 weeks to 7 October Aldi increased sales by 15.1%. This is the fastest rate of growth since January 2018, supported by its fresh and chilled aisles, with sales of dairy products up 24% and fresh poultry up 29% compared with last year. Some 6% of Aldi’s sales came from premium own-label lines including its Specially Selected range – a higher proportion than any other supermarket – and its growing number of stores helped it increase its market share by 0.8 percentage points to 7.6%.
Lidl attracted 5% more shoppers through its doors compared with the same period last year and persuaded visitors to spend an extra 55 pence per trip – a greater increase than any of its rivals – helping the store achieve sales growth of 10.0% and a market share of 5.6%.
With sales up 7.0%, Co-op was the only other bricks and mortar retailer to gain market share. Fraser McKevitt comments: “An additional 265,000 households visited Co-op over the past 12 weeks. They were particularly drawn to its own-label lines, buying 10% more of these ranges than this time last year which accounted for more than half of Co-op’s total sales.”
Over the past 12 weeks sales at Tesco were up 0.9% while its market share fell by 0.6 percentage points to 27.4%. Fraser McKevitt explains: “Despite widespread interest in the September launch of its discounter concept, Jack’s, the small number of stores planned means it won’t impact on Tesco’s market share without a significant expansion. Within the main supermarket ‘Exclusively at Tesco’ lines continue to be a real bright spot, with 41% of British shoppers buying one of these products during the last 12 weeks, spending a combined £102 million.”
Both Yorkshire-based retailers, Asda and Morrisons, grew sales by 2.4% over the past 12 weeks. Asda continued to focus on its own-label lines and overall sales increased both online and in store. In contrast, Morrisons generated growth by selling more branded items, while cutting back on promotions faster than any other retailer. Despite this, Morrisons still promotes more than any other supermarket, with 45% of sales made on some kind of deal. Sainsbury’s grew by 0.6%, achieving a market share of 15.4%, down 0.4 percentage points compared to last year.
Growing ahead of the market, Ocado and Iceland sales were up by 7.5% and 4.8% respectively. Meanwhile, Waitrose sales grew by 0.1%, with market share down by 0.1 percentage points to 5.2%.
An update on inflation
Grocery inflation now stands at +2.0%* for the 12 week period ending 7 October 2018. Prices have been rising since the 12 weeks to 1 January 2017, following a period of grocery price deflation which ran for 30 consecutive periods from September 2014 to December 2016. Prices are rising fastest in markets such as cola, butter and sparkling wine.