UK Grocery Sales Slow Down In Wet Weather – NIQ

By Sarah O'Sullivan
UK Grocery Sales Slow Down In Wet Weather – NIQ

Total till sales in UK supermarkets slowed (+1.1%) in the last four weeks – ending 15 June 2024 – because of wet weather, compared to last year’s hot summer, according to NIQ.

The same period last year saw larger growth (+12.1%), due to dry, sunny weather in the UK and an early June heatwave.

Another comparative note is that food inflation had just peaked (+14.6%) at this time last year.

Channels And Categories

The data from NIQ indicated that channel performance was also impacted by wet weather, as shoppers were more inclined to shop for groceries online, rather than in store.

In the last four weeks, in-store sales went down by 0.9%, while there was a 3.7% increase in online sales, boosting the channel’s share of FMCG sales to 12.6% – an increase from the 12.2% reported a year ago.


Convenience store sales this year were particularly week – down by 5.1% on the same period last year.

As consumers stayed indoors, avoiding the rain, NIQ data shows that shoppers were opting for warming foods and chocolate treats.

Confectionery (+6.7%) and packaged grocery (+6.7%) saw the biggest uplifts in category unit sales, followed by meat, fish and poultry (+2.6%) and crisps and snacks (+2.1%).

Shoppers also opted for more savoury baking mixes (+29%), gravy and stock (+28%) and ambient soup (+21%).

With less demand for instant refreshments, sales units for beers, wine and spirits declined (-8.9%), while soft drinks (-12.5%), tobacco (-12.4%) and general merchandise (-9.9%) saw similar declines, due to poor weather.



Over the last 12 weeks, the discounter market share in the UK remains at 18%, with sales at Lidl (+8%) growing ahead of Aldi (-1%), according to NIQ data.

However, Aldi had the highest growth of any retailer at this time last year.

In the last 12 weeks, Ocado (+12.6%) has continued to outperform other retailers, and Marks & Spencer (+7.1%) also gained market share.

Sales at Sainsbury’s (+4.7%) and Tesco (+4.1%) also increased, as they gained market share, while Morrisons’ market share went down slightly, to 8.4%.

Asda, once again, had the weakest performance, with a 4.9% contraction.


‘Remain Hopeful’

Mike Watkins, NIQ’s head of retailer and business insight, said, “The grocery sales uplift in June, compared to May, was much softer than this time last year, which had the hottest June on record.

“Whilst the growth trends through mid-June look stark, we can now expect a lower level of growth for a number of months to come, as we cycle through high-inflation comparatives.

“We remain hopeful that [the] current warm weather and England’s success at the Euros may boost sales of drinks and snacks.

“Now that the discounter market share has plateaued, their growth for the rest of the year will be more dependent on new-store openings and encouraging more visits.

“This will be needed to counteract some of the spend gained during the high period of inflation, which is now drifting back to supermarkets and may well continue over the next six months.


“The year-to-date growth at the grocery multiples has slowed to 2.6%, in terms of value, and 0.8%, in terms of unit/volume, and we expect this low growth to continue.

“This means that the volume trend is now going to be more important than value sales growth as an indicator of the current health of food retail over the next few months.”

Read More: Weather Overtakes Inflation In Driving UK Grocery Sales Boost In May – NIQ

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