Iceland’s banned palm oil advert could win over middle class shoppers as supermarkets prepare for Christmas
Iceland could get a shot in the arm from its banned Christmas advert by appealing to middle class shoppers, according to consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel.
The supermarket's advert, which caused a storm on social media when it was deemed “too political” to be aired by Clearcast, could be exactly what the store needs to reach out to more affluent shoppers, Fraser McKevitt, head of retail at Kantar Worldpanel, said.
“Its banned palm oil Christmas advert is tugging at the heartstrings of Britain’s middle classes and could translate into strong sales growth, especially if it manages to pique the interest of the half of the population who haven’t shopped there in the past year,” he said.
Nearly 37 per cent of Iceland's sales come from well-off shoppers, Kantar Worldpanel said, up from a third five years ago.
The supermarket increased sales by five per cent in the three months to November, driven mainly by fresh, chilled and ambient food ranges.
However, discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl continued to attract the lion’s share of growth in the sector as supermarkets prepare for the Christmas period, while Waitrose broke a growth streak for the first time in nine years.
Aldi grew sales by 15.5 per cent in the 12 weeks to November, lifting its market share by almost one percentage point to 7.6 per cent, the largest year-on-year increase of any retailer in almost four years.
Lidl, meanwhile, was not far behind, increasing its market share to 5.5 per cent by growing sales in the double digits.
McKevitt said: “Five years ago, just under half of British households were visiting one of the discount retailers at least once in a 12-week period. This now stands at almost two-thirds, which is reflected in their continued growth.”
Meanwhile, Asda led growth in the big four, increasing sales by 2.6 per cent, while Morrisons marked its 25th consecutive period of growth by upping sales by 1.5 per cent.
Sales at Tesco increased by just 0.4 per cent, while Sainsbury’s revenue fell by 0.6 per cent, despite double-digit growth online.
Across all supermarkets, sales grew 2.6 per cent, a slowdown from the strong summer performance ahead of a ramp-up for the festive season.
However, Halloween gave supermarkets a boost, selling £7m of pumpkins, a rise of over a fifth on last year. Chocolate sales also increased seven per cent, with a five per cent jump in sweet sales.