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All major Irish supermarkets experience growth for the sixth period in a row according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The grocery market continues to be intensely competitive with just 1.5 percentage points separating the top three retailers. Tesco is the fastest growing retailer, a title it holds for the seventh consecutive period, with sales up 4.8% compared to this time last year. Tesco is the only one of the three major retailers to witness a further decline in the average price paid per item, but this has been counteracted by shoppers spending more.  Customers spent an average of an extra €21 during the 12 weeks ending 12 August, through both visiting the supermarket more often and buying more items each time.

SuperValu continues to perform strongly with sales up by 2.4% and a market share of 22%, thanks in part to owner Musgraves prominent SuperValu of the GAA All-Ireland Hurling and Football Championships. The brand also performed well outside of its Munster stronghold seeing sales in Dublin up by 3.6% and the rest of Leinster growing by 6.2%.

Dunnes Stores’ saw  overall growth of 1.9% during the period, thanks in part to the retailer’s ‘Mix and Match’ promotion on their barbeque meat range which was advertised in the lead up to the August Bank Holiday and boosted sales of chilled burgers and grills by a third.

The discounters also saw good growth with seeing sales growth of 2.9%. Aldi were also the only retailer to see a notable increase in shoppers, welcoming an extra 40,000 customer during the 12 weeks. Lidl achieved sales growth of 1.9% to hold market share at 11.9%.

Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “Though the retailers continue to jostle for market share, the grocers have all benefited from the spike in consumer spending as shoppers’ splash out more during the warm weather.

“It’s been a summer of indulgence for customers. Alcohol is continuing to boom – overall sales of beer, wine and cider are up 10%. Ice cream is also up by a third compared to this time last year – equivalent to an extra €10 million – and soft drinks sales have jumped by 13%. The August bank holiday provided the retailers with another opportunity to cash in, with targeted advertisements and promotional activity directing customers towards specific categories such as fresh meat, fruit and vegetables and branded treats.”

Sporting events like the football World Cup and pop culture TV favourites such as Love Island have also had an impact on what shoppers are choosing to buy. Douglas Faughnan explains: “Men’s skincare products and shaving soaps grew at double the rate of the overall grocery market, while sales of razor blades rocketed by 15% as Love Island enthusiasts were potentially inspired by the contestants’ hairless look. Time spent in front of the TV meant shoppers spent less time on home cooking, to the benefit of frozen and chilled ready meals sales, which jumped by 16% and 6% respectively.”

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