Kantar: UK grocery sales rise as consumers gear up for Christmas

Take home grocery sales rose 9.3% in the 12 weeks to 1 November, according to the latest Kantar data, but there is no evidence of stockpiling ahead of the UK entering a second lockdown.

However, consumers started to prepare for Christmas ahead of the latest round of restrictions, and premium own label products saw a £56m boost this month.

Online retail continued to grow, with Ocado one again the fastest growing retailer, with sales up over a third (36.1%), boosting its market share to 1.7%. Its erstwhile online- partner, Waitrose, also saw online sales grow faster than any of the other retailers, boosting sales growth to 10.6%, and marking its first growth of market share in three years, rising to 5.1%.

Morrisons also saw double digit growth, up 11.4%, boosted by strong sales of its own label brand, with its market share rising to 10.2% of the grocery market.

Meanwhile Sainsbury’s sales rose by 7.6%, its market share currently 0.3 percentage points lower than the same time last year, at 15.3%.  Asda was also slightly lower than a year ago, at 14.4%, although sales grew 5%. Tesco, which maintained its market share at 27%, saw sales growth of 9.1%, driven by both physical and online sales.

Discounters Lidl and Aldi grew 12.5% and 6.6% respectively, with the former showing market share up to 6.1% (from 5.9% last year) while Aldi’s share dipped to 7.8%, down from 8% a year ago.

Convenience retailer The Co-op saw a sale boost of 8.6%, but market share dipped slightly to 6.4%.

Independents and symbol groups sales sale rise of 15.15 and 15.6% respectively with both now enjoying a 1.9% share of the market, up from 1.8% last year.

Regionally, Wales saw the fastest sales growth, up by 15% in the month to 1 November largely due to the stricter measures imposed by its ‘firebreak’ lockdown.

Grocery inflation now stands at 1.9% for the 12-week period, the data noted, having been rising steadily since 1 January 2017.

Speaking to the drinks business last month, Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said booze sales had been growing at a far higher rate than  wider grocery market with internet sales having more than doubled compared to the same period last year and alcohol sales in grocery rising 28% compared to 10% for non-booze categories.

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