Grocery market in NI continues to grow

[18 December] The NI grocery market grew by 20.3% in the last 12 weeks, as we entered a period of heightened restrictions, according to Kantar. Tesco remains the market leader, with 35.4% share. The supermarket giant increased sales by 11.3% year on year.

Sainsbury’s saw bigger YoY growth at 11.6%, and Asda improved by 7%. Lidl experienced the highest year on year improvement, up 17.4% and 0.3 percentage points of market share.

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar commented: “Lockdown impacted shopping patterns at the grocer as customers visited less frequently and made bigger trips each time. Shoppers picked up 20 items per shop on average, an increase of 16.9% compared with last year that added an additional £186 million to Tesco’s takings.

“As was the case at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda shoppers visited the supermarkets less frequently and it was bigger trips that helped to drive growth.  Shoppers adding more items to their baskets meant an extra £42.1 million spent in Sainsbury’s and £125.5 million in Asda this period.

Lidl entices new shoppers

“Lidl continues to achieve double-digit growth, with sales up by 17.4%, and it gained 0.3 percentage points of market share this period to achieve 6.4% of total grocery spend.  The grocer encouraged additional shoppers through its doors, something other retailers struggled to achieve, and these new customers contributed an additional £7.1 million to Lidl’s overall growth this period.

“With Christmas just around the corner, alcohol sales have grown well ahead of the market at 31.4% in the latest 12 weeks.  This represents an additional £18.5 million spent on beer, wine and cider as pubs and bars remained closed.  While some shoppers stuck to their home-cooking guns in lockdown 2.0, it appears many of us have swapped cooking from scratch for convenience as sales of frozen food were up 22.9%.”

As essential retailers, with a significant non-essential product offering, it’s unsurprising to see tills ringing in stores. Shoppers have visited in huge numbers despite restrictions, enhancing the value of OOH formats in proximity to retailers.