Grocery sales rise at fastest rate since 2013

 
Helen Cahill
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Leading UK Supermarkets Compete For Their Share Of The Market In The Run Up To Christmas
Prices are rising in supermarkets (Source: Getty)

Grocery sales are rising at their fastest rate since 2013, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.

For the 12 weeks ending 23 April, the grocery market grew by 3.7 per cent, representing a growth in sales of almost £1bn.

Prices rose 2.6 per cent in the period, with price rises most notable in items such as butter, fish and fresh lamb. However, these price rises were in part countered by falling prices on crisps, bacon and fresh poultry.

Asda increased its annual sales for the first time since October 2014, however, its overall share of the market fell by 0.4 percentage points to 15.6 per cent.

Sainsbury's, which today announced a profit fall of over eight per cent for the full year, managed to boost its sales by 1.7 per cent in the period covered by Kantar. This was the largest sales boost for the supermarket since June 2014. However, its peers have been growing faster, meaning Sainsbury's overall market share fell to 16.1 per cent from 16.5 per cent for the same period a year before.

Read more: Sainsbury's profit slides eight per cent

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “All 10 major retailers are in growth for the first time in three-and-a-half years, when we last saw like-for-like grocery inflation as high as it is now. While prices do look set to rise further, the current inflation rate of 2.6 per cent is still below the average level experienced by shoppers between 2010 and 2014."

Keith Richardson, managing director retail sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:

Rising food prices are clearly having an effect on overall spending, but these figures suggest that consumers are reining in their spending elsewhere so that they can continue to put a little of what they fancy in the basket at the supermarket.

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