GROCERS have continued to expand through 2012, Kantar Worldpanel revealed yesterday, with growth at the very top and bottom driving pace in the market.
Total sales by grocers were £23.5bn in the 12 weeks to 2 September, up from £22.7bn in the same period last year, growth of 3.3 per cent.
All of the big four supermarkets grew healthily, commanding between them £17.9bn in sales in the period, up from £17.5bn last year, and thus accounting for most of the overall rise.
But the most dramatic growth came away from the solid middle of the market. Aldi’s sales rocketed up 26.6 per cent, while Lidl’s soared 10.9 per cent and Iceland’s boomed 8.5 per cent, while a symmetrical effect was seen at the pricier end. Waitrose saw sales climb 7.8 per cent, to above £1bn. These four firms still only make up 12.2 per cent of the market together, but this is up a percentage point on last year.
“Despite ongoing pressures, things seem to be looking up in the grocery market and shoppers are not having to trade down to the same extent as they have done over the past year,” said Edward Garner at Kantar Worldpanel.