Sainsbury’s outpaces rest of Big Four as shoppers turn festive

Lidl has kept its crown as the UK's fastest growing grocer for a fifth quarter in a row, as Sainsbury's becomes the best performing of the Big Four.

Figures published by Kantar Worldpanel this morning show that sales were up 15.1 per cent at Lidl in the 12 weeks to 5 November, with 10.6m households visiting the German grocer at least one in the past three months. Lidl's market share grew 0.5 percentage points to 5.1 per cent.

Sales at Aldi grew 13.1 per cent, with the supermarket attracting 11.9m households during the same period, with market share now at 6.7 per cent.

Sainsbury's grew sales 2.6 per cent, making it the fastest growing of the Big Four for the first time since April 2016. However market share dropped 0.1 percentage points to 16.2 per cent. Tesco's sales were up 2.3 per cent, but market share fell to 28 per cent, while Morrisons' sales grew 2.1 per cent, with market share falling to 10.4 per cent.

Asda enjoyed its eight consecutive period of growth – the longest run since March 2014 – with sales up 1.5 per cent.

Grocery inflation stands at 3.4 per cent, the highest level since November 2013. Prices are rising fastest in markets such as butter, fish and cola and are falling in only a few markets, including crisps and fresh poultry.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “With the average shop currently costing £18.26, consumers are now paying an extra 62 pence each time and over the course of a year it could add £143.70 to a typical family’s grocery bill.”

But that hasn't been putting shoppers off from starting their Christmas shopper, McKevitt noted, saying consumers were already "digging deep in preparation for the holiday season".

The nation bought 10.1 million packs of traditional Christmas biscuits in October alone, while alcohol sales increased 5.3 per cent year on year, equivalent to an extra £142 million.

"The British public is only just getting started when it comes to Christmas shopping, and is expected to shell out a whopping £28.7 billion at the grocers in the final 12 weeks of 2017," McKevitt said.


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