Latest figures on the Irish grocery market share for the three-month period ending November 28, 2021 published by insights and consulting company, Kantar show that the cost of a Christmas dinner this year has increased by more than 4%.

The household grocery purchasing habits of 5,000 demographically representative households in the Republic of Ireland were monitored.

All data is based on the value of items being bought by these consumers.

Irish grocery figures 2021

Grocery sales fell by 6.4% over the analysed three-month period compared to the high sales of 2020. However, it needs to be taken into account that this time last year, non-essential shops and offices were closed.

Various lockdowns have shifted consumer behaviour of how and where people shop, however, growth remains strong compared to pre-pandemic times and sales grew by 8.9% compared to 2019.

With an open hospitality sector and office attendance partially back, we have been buying less meals for at home and as a result, grocery sales dropped by 7.1% in November, according to the data.

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, commented:

“With new restrictions in place again from early December, we expect to see this decline soften as people spend more time around their kitchen tables in the coming weeks.”

Grocery price inflation stands at 1.2% over the past three months, the highest level since February 2021. Prices have been under pressure due to Brexit and the pandemic complicating supply chain issues.

“Shoppers will inevitably feel the impact on their Christmas budgets this year and we are already seeing prices for some festive staples nudge up,” Healy stated.

The price of a Christmas dinner serving four is now 4.3% higher than last year, at currently €30.97 on average.

Source: Kantar

In December 2020, the sale of premium own-labels reached a record of over €140 million which might be exceeded this year, as premium own-label sales have increased by 2.4% over the last three months.

Online shopping vs stores

More than one in 10 people purchased groceries online this November leading to a 14.3% surge in digital grocery sales.

The increase was mainly driven by consumers buying groceries online for the first time which indicates that “the channel is yet to hit its ceiling in Ireland”, Healy stated.

“We could see online orders grow even further as people start to limit time spent out of their homes under the latest restrictions.”

SuperValu and Tesco have both invested significantly in expanding their digital capabilities since the beginning of the pandemic.

Their online sales have increased by 8.8% for SuperValu leading to a market share of 22.1%; while Tesco achieved 11.4% increase and accounts for 21.4%of the market.

Dunnes Stores holds the biggest market share this period at 22.8%, significantly benefitting from the biggest influx of new customers accounting for €34.6 million added to its overall performance.

Aldi holds a market share of 12.5% over the three-month period, closely followed by Lidl at 12.4%.