Grocery sales have enjoyed a 3.4% increase in value, compared with this time last year, despite a seasonal dip in shopper spend post-Christmas at £1.6 billion less than the month before.
According to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published for the 12 weeks to 28th January, households saved £63.04 on average over January compared to December 2017, as customers spent £3.39 less every time they shopped and sales of premium own-label products nearly halved.
Health trends have also had an impact on the grocery market, as 29% of evening meals contain no meat or fish at all.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, remarked that New Year’s resolutions and Veganuary also had an impact on the grocery market, adding: “This sustained interest in vegan and vegetarian diets is reflected in the chilled aisles – over January one in ten shoppers bought a meat-free ready meal, causing sales to rocket by 15% compared to this time last year.
“Sales of spinach, cherries and aubergine also grew strongly compared to the past 12 months – up 43%, 25% and 23% respectively.”
Lidl was once again crowned the UK’s fastest-growing retailer, having experienced a market share increase of 0.5% and with sales up by 16.3% compared to this time last year.
McKevitt noted: “Traditionally focused on own-label lines, Lidl has actually seen fastest growth among its branded products, which are up by 28% and now account for 12% of all sales.”
Aldi also increased sales by 16.2% to hold a market share of 6.9% – up 0.7% – enjoying particular success with its premium ‘Specially Selected’ range, which saw sales climb by £26 million.
Although its market share fell by 0.3% to 27.8%, Tesco still remains the fastest growing of the so-called ‘Big Four’, with sales up by 2.6%.
In addition, despite shoppers increasingly opting for vegan options such as the grocer’s new ‘Wicked Kitchen’ range, according to Kantar Worldpanel, Tesco saw the greatest sales growth from its dairy and produce lines.
Asda and Morrisons both experienced sales growth of 2.2%, though lost market share, each down 0.2% compared to this time last year.
What’s more, an extra 311,000 shoppers chose to shop at Sainsbury’s, with sales at the grocer being lifted by 1.5% despite market share falling by 0.3% to 16.2%.
Still feeling the effect of selling nearly 300 stores to McColls, Co-op’s market share dropped by 0.2% to stand at 5.8%, having experienced sales growth of -0.1%.
Waitrose grew overall sales by 1.5% but saw market share fall by 0.1%.
Iceland experienced its 23rd period of consecutive growth – a run dating back to May 2016 – with sales up by 1.6%, holding its market share steady at 2.3%.
Ocado continued its sales growth – up 7.8% – to hold market share at 1.3%.