British shoppers spend more as UK supermarkets see total till growths of 12.3 per cent, Nielsen IQ data reveals

UK supermarkets experienced a 12.3 per cent uplift in total till sales over the last four weeks ending 20 May 2023 – up from the +9.7 per cent recorded in April 2023, reveals new data released today (31 May) by NIQ (previously known as NielsenIQ).

According to data from NIQ, UK supermarkets (stores over 3000 sq ft) experienced the biggest uplift in sales during the week of the Coronation (+17.6 per cent) as shoppers focused on celebrating the event and bought extra items, with larger stores able to offer a wider variety of celebratory ranges.

NIQ data shows that over the four-week period, there was a 3.8 per cent increase in shopping occasions - across all channels - with a 4.9 per cent increase in visits to stores, as shoppers continued to shop around for the cheapest prices.

With this in mind, the brick and mortar stores sales increased by 13.5 per cent. There was also a boost in online sales, which grew by +5.2 per cent - the best growth experienced for the channel since April 2021 - while its market share stabilising at 10.9 per cent.

Data from NIQ reveals that volume sales at UK supermarkets was better over the last four weeks, improving to -2.6 per cent and has slowly improved in every month of 2023 since the low point of -6.9 per cent in January.

During 2023, own label products have demonstrated strong performance in terms of value sales, with a substantial growth rate of +14.1 per cent surpassing the growth achieved by branded products, which recorded a growth rate of +7.1 per cent. The volume share of own label products climbed to 63.3 per cent of all FMCG sales in the past four weeks, a jump from 62.1 per cent in 2022.

Mike Watkins, NIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “Inflation has been a significant drag on shopper spend, so this year, incremental sales are reliant on a short-term boost from well-activated events rather than regular promotional activity. With 27 per cent of households saying that they buy extra or special items to celebrate an event or occasion,this will have helped many prioritise spending for the coronation in early May.”

Watkins concludes: “With warmer weather coming up towards the end of May, we can expect to see a further lift to sales in June, particularly at convenience stores where 30 per cent of households now say they shop at once a week or more. The advantage for retailers is that shopper mobility tends to increase over the summer, and with 82% of consumers buying food on the go, this is another reason to visit a store. While some parts of the hospitality industry are facing headwinds, there remains a strong consumer demand for dining at home, and shoppers are indulging themselves through quick grocery delivery and enjoying meals and snacks from a diverse range of rapid delivery platforms like Just Eat, Uber Eats, or Deliveroo. Many shoppers are still looking for a special treat now and again, despite the challenges of inflation.”