The value of the grocery market was up 2% to €2.34 billion for the 12 weeks ending July 16, compared to the same period last year, according to research.

However, the value of the market was down 1.3% when compared to the 12-week period ending May 31 – when it was worth €2.37 billion after increasing by €50 million, the figures from Kantar Worldpanel showed.

SuperValu remained the nation’s favourite for the eight consecutive period, although its market share slipped slightly, by 0.3 percentage points year-on-year – to 22.1%.

This was narrowly ahead of Tesco at 21.9% and Dunnes Stores at 21.5%, with lower prices helping to drive sales across the retailers. Own brands were particularly popular, with sales growing by 3.5% and accounting for 55% of total grocery spending over the period.

Kantar Worldpanel Consumer Insight Director, Cora Campbell, said: “Despite a decline in the average price per pack, the market has continued to grow. In response to lower prices, shoppers have been putting more items into their baskets, which has kept market performance on an upward trajectory.

“Despite seeing a drop in shopper numbers again this quarter, Dunne Stores continued its strong sales growth, up 3%. Dunnes’ shoppers spent 8% more – €36.80 on average – with the grocer during the latest quarter, and also visited the retailer slightly more often on average than this time last year.”

The remaining favourites were Lidl and Aldi, where sales grew by 3.8% and 3.7%, respectively. Lidl’s market share stood at 12.1% and Aldi’s was 11.4% for the period – which was unchanged from the last report published in June.

Earlier this month, SuperValu announced the creation of 40 jobs at a new supermarket in Dundalk, Co. Louth, with the store expected to open in the autumn after a €7 million investment.