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Kantar: UK grocery inflation tips record high

Grocery inflation rose again during March, to a record high of 17.5% – the ninth month of double-digit grocery price inflation, the latest data from Kantar showed. 

The retail analysts said inflation would add around £837 to the average household’s annual bill for essentially the same basket – however these is evidence that consumers behaviour has changed. Consumers are increasingly shopping around and visiting three or more retailers in a month.

Footfall was up in every single grocer this month, for example – with households going to the shops just over four times a week in March. “Apart from Christmas, that’s the highest frequency we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic,” Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt noted. “Shoppers are taking action and clearly hunting around for the best value.”

“The supermarkets are also tackling grocery price inflation, battling it out to demonstrate value and get customers through their doors.  This is a fiercely competitive sector and if people don’t like the prices in one store they will go elsewhere, with consumers visiting three or more of the top 10 retailers in any given month on average,” he said.

Meanwhile, take-home grocery sales grew by 8.6% over the 12 week period.

Although sales of label lines rose by 15.8% in the latest four weeks compared to the previous year, branded goods still make up 52% of the market and indeed sales grew by 7.2% over the past month, “the fastest rate we’ve seen since February 2021”, McKevitt said.

Lidl was the fastest growing supermarket during the  period, with sales up 25.8%, boosting its market share to 7.4% – although it remained behind Aldi, whose 25.4% boost in sales tipped its market share to a record 9.9%. Among the other retailers, Morrisons returned to growth and Waitrose had its best performance since September 2021.

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