The Irish grocery market has seen its sales grow at the fastest rate since June, rising 1.1% over the past year. This is according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, for the 12 weeks ending November 9.
David Berry, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel, said that Irish grocery market growth has accelerated, with sales up by more than twice the average rate achieved over the course of 2014.
He explained, "This is in stark contrast to the Great Britain market, which has contracted for the first time on record. One reason for this growth is improved confidence among Irish shoppers, which is illustrated by a marginal return to growth for branded grocery products (0.3%). Since the recession began, branded sales have been in decline, so a return to growth is a positive prospect for recovery."
In terms of supermarket shares however, Berry said that competition in the market is intensifying as the battle to be the number one grocer wages on. He explained, "The top three retailers are separated by less than 1.5% share – a record narrow divide at the top of the market. There really is all to play for among the big retailers as the critically important Christmas period approaches."
Market leader Tesco holds onto 24.9% share this period, despite falling sales due to shoppers putting fewer items into their baskets. Unsurprisingly, SuperValu is extremely close behind, with 24.5% of the market, as the retailer goes from strength to strength with a sales increase of 0.8% driven by new shopper footfall.
Berry said, "SuperValu has been performing broadly in line with the market, and is holding a relatively consistent share. If current trends continue, then Tesco’s share would dip below that of SuperValu during 2015. However, Tesco often performs well at Christmas and we would expect sales to stabilise during 2015, so it is by no means certain that the lead will change hands."
Meanwhile, Dunnes remains in third place holding a 23.5% market share. Berry said, "Recently Dunnes has posted improved sales performance driven by offering clear, strong pricing on branded grocery items supported by significant CRM activity. This has enabled them to perform in line with the market and retain share."
Discounters Aldi and Lidl continue to be popular with shoppers with sales increasing by 16.4% and 14.4% respectively. Berry said, "Lidl and Aldi’s widespread consumer appeal has allowed both retailers to continue to enjoy strong growth […] Some 63.5% of all households shopped in each of the two retailers during the past quarter, with Lidl particularly benefitting from more frequent visits by customers as shoppers returned to the store for one additional trip. Meanwhile, Aldi continued to attract new shoppers, bringing an additional 80,000 shoppers through its doors."
Grocery inflation stands at 2.6% for the 12 week period ending 9 November 2014, up marginally from 2.4% last period.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson