SuperValu has been named Ireland's top supermarket, as shoppers adjusted to life under lockdown.
The latest figures from Kantar show that the Irish retailer secured a 22.2% of the market share, in the 12 weeks to 19 April, 2020.
SuperValu’s large store estate saw it benefit from shoppers choosing to visit outlets closer to home, and it was the only retailer not to experience reduced footfall during the past four weeks, the research showed.
'This is testament to the remarkable effort and dedication of its independent retailers and their staff as well as the implementation of protective measures such as plexiglass at tills and increased contactless payment limits for staff and customers a very early stage during the Covid-19 crisis,' SuperValu said in a statement.
The retailer outlined that its robust supply chain ensured that shelves remain fully stocked from the outset of the crisis and that these measures mean that shoppers can always buy groceries without making multiple trips.
'SuperValu remains an intensely competitive market and the cost of doing business rose during this period, it performance also builds on steady growth seen during the third and fourth quarters of last year, which were a result of price cuts as well as a significant investment in its in-store value offering and range,' it added.
In the most recent four weeks, year-on-year grocery growth slowed slightly from March levels to 22.5% and, as people followed Government advice to stay at home, the average household visited the grocers 19 times, two times fewer than the same period last year.
“In an effort to get everything they need in one go and cater for all the additional meals and snacks eaten at home, shoppers are adding an extra four items to their baskets each visit, increasing their monthly grocery bill by €118 on average," said David Berry, managing director, Kantar Ireland.
According to the data, Lidl was the fastest growing of all the retailers during the full 12-week period, boosting sales by 22.1% and increasing its market share to 12% while Aldi grew by 15.6% to hold an 11.8% share.
Online Sales Soar
It comes as no surprise that demand for online grocery has soared as people try to limit their contact with others and 10% of Irish households received an online grocery delivery in the past four weeks compared with 6% last year.
Berry added: “An additional €20.6 million was spent online this month and it’s heartening that the number of retired people getting groceries delivered has doubled in the past 12 weeks, indicating the take up of delivery slots among more vulnerable groups.”
Cooking From Scratch
Berry highlighted that people are turning to cooking from scratch as a good way to keep their families entertained at home.
"Sales of ready meals are in decline but 50% of Irish households bought baking supplies in the past four weeks, with flour up 52% and sugar up 43%," he said.
"Those shoppers trying to recreate their favourite takeaway dishes have also boosted sales of ethnic ingredients by 41% and herbs and spices by 61%.
Alcohol Sales Rise
"While beer gardens and wine bars remain off limits, people have been turning to the grocers for their favourite tipples and boosted sales of alcohol by 70%, an additional €47 million," added Berry.
Wine sales increased by 50% year on year, while beer, lager and cider sales benefited from the warmer weather and were double the levels in the same four weeks in 2019.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.