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‘Power of Frozen’ Lifts Iceland Store Sales to 3.4% Gain as Overall Retailer Growth in UK is Slow and Prices Fall

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The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published for the 12 weeks ending August 16, 2015, show continued sluggish growth in the British grocery market, which rang up an increase in sales of 0.9% compared to one year ago.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at the consumer market research company, commented: “Industry growth of around or below 1% has now persisted since the summer of 2014 and has become the new normal. Despite the accelerating British economy, like-for-like grocery prices are still falling, with a representative basket of everyday items now 1.7% cheaper than in 2014.”

Meanwhile, the news from frozen food retail specialist Iceland is upbeat. Thanks to recent efforts to create a more premium image for frozen food, as well as new store openings including its Food Warehouse format, Iceland is attracting more shoppers than last year. Sales are up by 3.4% as a result, though market share remains flat at 2.0%, reports Kantar Worldpanel.

Holly-Bell-iceland contentForty-five recipes from Holly Bell as well as tips for making the most of one’s home freezer are featured in Iceland’s new cookbook, entitled The Power Of Frozen. Set for release in September to commemorate the retail chain’s 45th anniversary, all proceeds realized from sales will benefit the Children’s Food Trust.

Deeside, Flintshire, UK-headquartered Iceland has been promoting its extensive line in a TV advertising campaign trumpeting “The Power of Frozen” theme. Spots highlight tasty Italian wood-fired pizza, prime Angus beef, prawns from the Atlantic, Canadian lobster, Italian Gelato and other products – all available in prime condition at reasonable prices “because it’s frozen.”

Iceland has teamed up with Holly Bell, a finalist in the BBC’s 2011 Great British Bake Off, to create a cookbook entitled The Power Of Frozen. Published to celebrate Iceland’s 45th anniversary and priced at £5.99, all sales proceeds will go to the Children’s Food Trust.

Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl and Sainsbury’s Post Gains
Waitrose has had another successful period, with its “Pick Your Own Offers” promotion helping to drive growth of 3.7%. For the second month in a row there is also growth at the Co-operative, with sales at the till up by 1.1% compared to last year. Market shares for two retailers, respectively, are 5.1% (+0.2%) and 6.4% (flat).

Aldi-UKAldi continues to expand in the UK in terms of new store openings, sales and market share. The discount retail chain now claims 5.6% of the market, up 0.8% during the 12-week period ending on August 16.
It’s been another successful period for the discounters, with growth at Aldi accelerating to 18.0% and share of market increasing by 0.8% to 5.6%. Lidl’s sales have also risen, up 12.8%, taking its market share to a new high of 4.1% (+0.5%).

“As anticipated, Asda has retaken its position as Britain’s second largest supermarket, despite a fall in sales of 2.5% and a 0.6 percentage point fall in market share (16.3%),” said McKevitt. “The retailer’s greater focus on non-food items means its market share is traditionally higher in the summer, and it’s expected that Sainsbury’s will again become the number two retailer towards Christmas.”

Sainsbury’s is the only one of the “big four” retailers to have seen an increase in sales, which are up by 0.1% – its first growth since March. Growing slightly behind the market, the year-on-year share of the UK’s No. 3 retailer has slipped by 0.1 percentage points to 16.3%.

Sales at Tesco fell by 0.9% and Britain’s top-ranked retailer now holds 28.3% of the market. Buoyant growth in the convenience stores and online has not been enough to offset lower revenues in the larger shops. Morrisons’ increased decline of 1.1% reflects a tougher comparison against last year, when a widespread voucher promotion was in place. Its share of market slipped by 0.2% to 10.8% overall, ranking it No. 3 in the UK.

Tesco-UKTesco remains Britain’s No. 1 food retailer by far, with a 28.3% share of the market. Asda and Sainsbury’s ranks second and third, with respective 16.6% and 16.3% shares.