Discounters Aldi and Lidl now account for more than 10 per cent of the UK's grocery sales, taking £1 in every £9.31 spent at supermarkets in the last three months.
The German retailers' combined market share stood at 10.7 per cent for the 12 weeks to January 31, up from 9.3 per cent last year, thanks to rocketing sales growth while the rest of the sector has struggled to show any increase at all.
Over the same period, Aldi's sales grew 17.3 per cent and Lidl's were up 13.8 per cent, Nielsen data shows. That compares with a sector average of just 0.7 per cent.
Nielsen's UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins noted that discounters had not taken such a large chunk of the sector “since the heyday of Kwik Save some 15 years ago”.
“The new wave of discounters are now a regular part of grocery shopping and have changed shopping habits forever,” he added.
“What is different this time is that discounters are no longer solely associated with price. They’ve been very astute at promoting the quality of their offerings to appeal to a wider range of consumers.”
In the first month of the year, Nielsen data shows Morrisons was the only one of the big four supermarkets to increase sales, helped by increased spend-per-visit and by attracting new shoppers.
“This indicates that the launch of their loyalty price match card “Match and More” is having a positive impact on trading performance,” said Watkins.