Northern Ireland grocery market up 2.6%

Northern Ireland grocery market up 2.6%
Kantar figures show NI grocery sector up 2.6% - shopping habits going back to 'pre-pandemic routines'

Bigger basket spends are back, with shopping habits showing signs of reverting to pre-pandemic routines, according to the latest figures from Kantar.

 “The Northern Irish grocery market grew by 2.6% in the 52 weeks to 5 September 2021.  This growth reflects people making bigger shops throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns of the past year, picking up an average of 3.7% more items each time they visited the supermarket.  That trend has helped to boost sales across all the nation’s major retailers” said Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar.

“Tesco retained its crown as Northern Ireland’s largest grocer.  It enjoyed a 3.2% increase in sales as its shoppers bought 5.3% more products while in store.  Sainsbury’s grew by 1.9% this period as shoppers visited the retailer four more times than they did the previous year.

“Asda’s sales rose by 2.5% as shoppers made additional trips to its stores and added extra items to their baskets.  Both these factors helped the grocer to maintain its 16.0% share of the market.

“Consumers continue to respond well to Lidl’s offer and the grocer held on to its title as the fastest growing retailer, with sales up 12.2%.  It benefited from shoppers visiting 14.2% more frequently than they did this time last year.

“Looking at the more recent picture, grocery sales dipped by 5.0% in the latest 12 weeks as shoppers nudged back to their pre-pandemic routines.  The easing of restrictions has meant people are eating out of their homes more whether in restaurants or work canteens and so they don’t need to buy as much food from the supermarket.  That change has seen volume sales fall by 4.8% over the past three months.

“People aren’t cooking from scratch as much as they did last year, which maybe reflects life getting busier again.  Consumers spent £4.7 million less on home cooking staples in the latest 12 weeks.  It seems like a lot of shoppers took the chance to get out the kitchen and enjoy Northern Ireland’s record-breaking temperatures this summer and the good weather saw sales of chilled drinks soar by 11.4%.”