The latest United Kingdom grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published on February 11 for the 12-week period ending on February 2, 2014, show increased market share for Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and discounters Aldi and Lidl at a time when the overall grocery market is growing at its slowest pace since 2005.
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly as consumers in Britain increasingly seek value for money and reduce food waste during trying economic times, the biggest gainer in percentage terms was frozen food retail specialist Farmfoods. It saw sales jump almost 44%.
Fraser McKevitt, retail analyst at Kantar Worldpanel, commented: “Grocery market growth slipped slightly to 2.4%, indicating that brighter economic prospects are yet to be seen in the nation’s shopping trolleys. The slowest industry growth since 2005 made it hard for many of the biggest retailers to increase sales. However, shoppers felt the benefit as grocery inflation fell to only 2.1%.”
Asda managed to grow, with sales up 0.5% compared with a year ago, but it lost share after failing to match the overall 2.4% market growth rate. Tesco and Morrisons also lost market share as a result of declining sales. As the UK’s biggest retailer, Tesco unsurprisingly reflected the slow overall market with sales down by 0.4% compared with the same period last year.
Fraser continued: “Mike Coupe, who will be taking over from Sainsbury’s current CEO Justin King in July, will be inheriting the retailer in good shape as it continues to be the fastest growing of the big four with an unbroken run that stretches back nearly two years according to our reporting. Year-on-year growth of 2.7% was enough to boost Sainsbury’s market share to 17.1% from 17.0% a year ago.
“Double digit growth helped Aldi and Lidl to gain market share, as shopper habits evolve from using the so called ‘discounters’ to pick up a few items in between shops to them being considered an acceptable place for the weekly shopping trip. Aldi and Lidl together now account for 7.3% of sales, up 1.3% percentage points from last year. Waitrose sales were up 5.6% compared with a year ago and this helped it to grow its share of the market to 4.9%.”