Sales of cooked meats and bread grew by nearly 15% and 8% respectively in recent weeks as families were “stocking up on lunchbox favourites”, according to Kantar.

A “nudge back to normality” has driven market share gains for all of Ireland’s biggest grocers for “the first time in a decade”.

However, the latest figures from data analyst Kantar show that Irish grocery market sales dipped by 2.3% in the 12 weeks to September 5, as people edge back to their pre-pandemic routines.

Sales remain 11.1% higher than the same period in 2019.

Kantar analysis

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar said that while “we’re a way off a full return to normality, there are winds of change and people are becoming more comfortable heading out and about”.

“An extra 189,000 trips were made to the supermarket over the past three months, driven by shoppers running out for one or two items at a time rather than relying on a big weekly shop like they did during the height of lockdowns,” Healy explained.

“It suggests that the high vaccination levels across the country are helping to boost consumers’ confidence.”

Online grocery shopping has taken a “backseat” the last month as people returned to workplaces, education and eating out.

The “popular pandemic pastime” of preparing meals from scratch has “slipped down the agenda”, with shoppers spending €7.5 million more on chilled convenience items like pizzas and ready meals over the past four weeks.

Supermarket shares

Dunnes, a favourite of families preparing to send children back to school, saw the greatest influx of new shoppers among all the retailers up 5.3%, which contributed €32 million to its sales.  

Dunnes is tied with Tesco for the title of second-largest grocer, and both hold a 21.4% share of the market this period. 

Aldi achieved its highest ever market share this period at 12.7%. Lidl holds a 12.8% market share this period.  

SuperValu is the largest retailer and holds a 22.5% share of the market.