Take-home grocery sales are up this month over last year thanks to early Easter, says Kantar


Ocado was the fastest growing retailer this month, Kantar data showed

Take-home grocery sales rose by 4.6 per cent over the four weeks to 17 March, with an early Easter boosting sales of seasonal treats in the first three months of 2024 by £88 million compared with the same period last year, according to the latest supermarket data from analytics company Kantar.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, added that grocery price inflation has dropped to 4.5 per cent over this period, the lowest level since February 2022. “Grocery inflation has come down significantly since hitting an eye-watering peak of 17 per cent in March 2023,” he said.

However, despite this continued slowdown, many British households are still feeling the squeeze, McKevitt said. As a result, shoppers remain on the hunt for value and among those feeling most pressured, 78 per cent are actively buying cheaper groceries while 68 per cent are using promotions to help manage budgets, he said.

Retailers appear to be responding in kind, with the emphasis on discounts and price match schemes continuing this period, Kantar data shows. £605 million more was spent on deals this month than in March last year, while nearly one third of baskets across Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda collectively contained at least one price matched product.

“Premium own-label lines have been a big beneficiary of consumers trading down, growing by a whopping 16.1 per cent this month – the quickest rate we’ve seen in nearly three years,” McKevitt said. “However, sales of branded goods pushed just ahead of own label overall, increasing sales by 6.1 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively in the latest four weeks.”

Ocado was the fastest growing retailer this month, benefiting from a sustained voucher campaign which helped it attract customers, Kantar said.

The retailer improved sales by 9.5 per cent in the latest 12 weeks, ahead of the total online market which rose by 6.6 per cent, to account for 1.9 per cent of all take-home sales. It was the only grocer other than Waitrose to boost its number of shoppers in the latest three months.

Year-on-year sales at Britain’s two largest grocers, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, climbed by 5.8 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

Morrisons saw a 3.6 per cent increase in sales over the latest 12 weeks, marking more than one year of consistent growth for the retailer. Its share of spend stands at 8.7 per cent.

Asda, meanwhile, increased sales by 0.2 per cent and now holds 13.8 per cent of the market.

Aldi’s sales stepped up by 3.1 per cent, with its market share at 9.8 per cent. Fellow discounter Lidl grew by 8.8 per cent to capture a 7.8 per cent share of the market, helped by a 24 per cent rise in sales of baked goods and a 11 per cent jump in fruit, vegetables and salads.

Iceland grew sales by 2.2 per cent. Waitrose holds a 4.5 per cent share, with sales up by 3.9 per cent, while Co-op takes 5.5 per cent of the market.