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Alcohol sales rebound in February

Booze sales saw a strong bounce in February, the latest Kantar figures have revealed, enjoying a 18% boost in volume terms. 

Wine in particular rose by 28% in volume terms on last month with Kantar noting 8 million more bottles were bought in February than in January 2024, and 16% more beer and lager was sold.

The data also showed that grocery price inflation dropped to a two-year low, down to 5.3%, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from January, which is the lowest it has been since March 2022.

Meanwhile, take-home grocery sales grew by 5.1% in value over the four weeks to 18 February 2024.

As noted by Kantar’s strategic insight director Tom Steel, consumers have been navigating  grocery inflation of more than 4% for two years now, and “this latest easing of price rises is especially welcome”.

He also noted an acceleration of promotions after a “post-Christmas slowdown”, with consumer spend on offers up 4% in February, amounting to around £586 million more than was spent on offers in the same month last year.

Which retailers saw sales growth?

In terms of sales growth, Lidl, the fastest growing grocery retailer for the six month running, and also was the only retailer to achieve double-digit growth, with sales up 10.9% in the 12 weeks to 18 February 2024.

This helped boost its overall market share by 0.4 percentage points, to 7.5% of the market. Aldi also grew ahead of the market, with sales of 5.7%, which saw it maintain its 9.4% share of the market.

There was lower growth at the bigger supermarkets, with Sainsbury’s seeing sales up 7.6% and Tesco’s by 6.7%, although both grew their market share by 0.4 and 0.3 percentage points respectively to take 15.6% share of the market (Sainsburys) and 27.6% (Tesco).

Asda, which has a market share of 13.8%, saw a 1.9% boost, while Morrisons’ share now stands at 8.8%, with sales up by 3.1% on the same time last year.  Meanwhile Waitrose increased sales by 3.8%, with its market share standing at 4.6% of total grocery and Co-op’s saw a 1.4% boost in sales, taking it to 5.3%  market share.

Online retailer Ocado also saw some growth, with sales up 4.9%, helping it retain its 1.9% share of the total market — although the total online market saw growth of 6.8% year-on-year.

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