Sizzling summer lights up the UK grocery market
Supermarket sales have grown at their fastest rate this year – up 3.6% – thanks to football fever and the prolonged hot weather, according to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel published today for the 12 weeks to 15 July 2018.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “England may not have won the World Cup – but its journey to the semi-finals not only helped to kickstart the summer, but supermarket sales to boot.
“Over the past month, football-frenzied customers visited supermarkets an extra 13 million times as they hurried to stock up on World Cup-viewing essentials, with alcohol in particular the stand-out winner. Christmas and Easter aside, the week that the England football team played both Colombia and Sweden saw more spent on alcohol than ever before – a colossal £287 million.”
With the hot and sunny weather showing no signs of letting up, al fresco dining has continued to tempt shoppers. Over the past month, sales of firelighters and fresh burgers rocketed by 47% and 30% as customers honed their barbecuing skills. Meanwhile, sun care products and painkillers were both in demand: sales of sun creams jumped by 38%, while nearly a third of all households picked up pain-killing tablets over the past month.
The warm weather has not only impacted what customers buy, but where they choose to buy their groceries from. Fraser McKevitt continues: “Over the past 12 weeks Co-op experienced growth of 6.4% – its highest recorded since October 2011 – as shoppers’ desire to maximise the sunshine encouraged them to shop more locally. The past month in particular saw a boost to the retailer’s popularity, with shoppers returning to Co-op stores on average a record 10.1 times.”
Asda saw sales jump 3.7% to post its strongest growth in more than five years, and it was the best performing of the big four for the first time since December 2014. Fraser McKevitt explains: “Buoyed by a sales increase of 9% to its core, standard own-label lines – which make up 40% of its sales – Asda held market share steady at 15.1%. The retailer also encouraged an additional 230,000 shoppers through its doors over the past 12 weeks.
“Morrisons posted strong growth of 2.9%, with a market share of 10.5%. Over the past 12 weeks the retailer’s premium line ‘The Best’ outperformed its cheaper own-label options, helping Morrisons to continue a run of growth stretching back to January 2017.”
Although Tesco’s convenience Express stores proved popular with shoppers, contributing to Tesco’s overall growth of 2.3%, the grocer’s market share fell back by 0.3 percentage points to 27.6%. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s market share declined by 0.4 percentage points to 15.6%, despite experiencing sales growth of 0.8%.
Fraser McKevitt continues: “Boosted by its title as the official supermarket of the England football team, Lidl saw sales increase by 9.7%. The discounter increased its market share by 0.3 percentage points to 5.4% compared to this time last year. Meanwhile, Aldi returned to double-digit growth – with sales up by 10.9% – to reach a market-share high for the retailer of 7.5%. Aldi and Lidl are now on the verge of hitting a combined market share of 13% for the first time, though the speculation over new entrants to the discount market could mean new pressures on the two retailers.”
Sales at Iceland rose by 4.5% as the retailer continued to grow outside its core frozen lines, with the supermarket securing 2.1% market share. Although increasing sales by 2.8%, Waitrose dropped market share by 0.1 percentage points to 5.0%. E-commerce specialist Ocado experienced sales growth of 8.5% and now accounts for 1.2% of the grocery market.