Sales of vegetarian options up 18% in Irish supermarkets

More people tried vegetarian food when out shopping in Irish supermarkets, according to the latest statistics released by Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland – with vegetarian options witnessing an 18% growth in recent weeks.

Published today for the 12-week period ending on January 28, 2018, the statistics also show continued growth for Irish supermarkets – with branded goods leading the way over own-label products for the first time in four years.

New year health kicks were evident, as spinach, berries and avocados continued to grow in popularity. Sales were up by 46%, 19% and 6% respectively year-on-year, according to the Kantar figures.

David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, commented on the results, noting: “Shoppers’ increasing interest in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles was clear, as sales of vegetarian options surged by 18%.

One in five shoppers picked up a vegetarian product during the past 12 weeks. Winter also brought its fair share of sniffles: sales of cough sweets and liquids increased by 9.5% and vitamin supplements saw a 14% increase year-on-year as shoppers tried to bolster their immune systems.”

Branded food sales have begun to out perform own-label products for the first time since 2014, according to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland.

Berry gave a little background to this, explaining: “The recovery of branded sales began in late 2017 and has continued apace in the new year.

Sales of brands are up 4% year-on-year, as shoppers parted with an additional €49 million on their favourites during the past 12 weeks.

“This is the first time in four years that brands have posted stronger sales growth than their own-label counterparts, with alcohol, baked goods, frozen food and toiletries performing best,” he added.

Most popular supermarkets

Among the retailers, Dunnes Stores remains in pole position among supermarkets – capturing 23.2% of shoppers’ grocery spending. Sales growth for the retailer has remained strong, with it posting an increase of 5.7% compared with this time last year.

The Kantar director noted: “Loyalty continues to define Irish grocery, with shoppers now less likely to shop around and committed to spending more with their retailer of choice.

“Dunnes has capitalised on this trend, successfully counteracting lower footfall with higher spending from its existing customers.”

Meanwhile, in second place, Tesco has a 22.7% share of the market and a comparable sales increase of 4.8%.

This is the 10th successive month that the retailer has enjoyed sales growth, boosting market share by 0.3 percentage points year-on-year.

Performance for SuperValu remains consistent, with sales growth of 2.1%. Dublin yielded the strongest results for the retailer, with the supermarket managing to increase its market share in a region where it was traditionally under represented.

Lidl continues to enjoy a strong performance, with sales growth of 4.6% boosting market share to 10.5%. Aldi has seen a slight dip in sales, with market share now standing at 10.3%.

Meanwhile, Iceland – which currently holds just 0.6% of the Irish grocery market – is gaining a foothold in the frozen aisle.

Berry said: “Helped by store openings in 2017 – the retailer opened its 20th Irish outlet on January 23 – the grocer has managed to increase its share of frozen food sales from 4.3% to 6.0% year-on-year during the past 12 weeks.”