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Olympic summer boosts supermarket Prosecco sales

Sales of sparkling wines have helped fuel supermarket growth over the summer according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The cost of wine fraud is said to add 28p to the price of each bottle sold in the UK (Photo: WIki)

Sales of booze grew 8.5% over the summer on the back of the Olympics and Paralympics, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt – well ahead of the sluggish overall 0.3% growth and deflation of 1.1%.

“Sparkling wines including Prosecco and Champagne led the way with growth of 36.0% as promotional events across a number of retailers successfully tapped into the nation’s celebratory mood,” he said.

This was particularly the case for Tesco’s summer ‘Drinks Festival’, he said, which helped grow its alcohol sales faster than any other major category. “While the retailer’s sales have not yet returned to growth, a decline of 0.2% year-on-year is its best performance since March 2014.  This period its Extra and larger stores delivered a positive contribution to performance, though market share fell back by 0.1 percentage points and Tesco now accounts for 28.1% of the overall grocery market.”

The Co-op also posted strong alcohol sales, helping boost its market share to 6.6%.

Lidl and Aldi saw growth, up 9.5% and 11.6% respectively, with Lidl’s market share reaching 4.6%. McKevitt noted not only the expansion of their store estates but also the increasing size of existing customers’ basket sizes – up 4% to £19.24 – and the frequency of visits. “The discounters are helping drive the industry-wide growth in premium own-label lines, with marketing campaigns moving away from showcasing only price to a focus on quality – collectively, premium own label grew by 29.5% in the discounters this period,” he said,

Waitrose saw growth of 3.4%, to a record 5.3% markets share, which McKevitt said was fuelled by greater promotional activity.

“It’s ‘Half Price Event’ boosted performance across much of the store – particularly in household and alcohol – however the increase in sales has come at a cost, with Waitrose’s proportion of promotional sales reaching a higher level than some of the traditionally more promotion-focused ‘big four’ retailers,” he said.

Sales fell 0.3% at Morrison, and its market-share fell to 10.4%, on the back of a smaller store portfolio, despite growth in the first half the year and a strong online performance, which saw shopper numbers up by 45% on last year.

Sainsbury’s also saw sales fall, down -1.4% as it continues to roll out its simpler pricing strategy.

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