Irish grocery market sales are up 1.2%, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s latest supermarket share figures.

The figures were for the 12 weeks ending February 1, 2015.

These latest figures follow on from a strong performance at Christmas and it means that the Irish market is no in its 11th consecutive period of growth, Kantar says.

“There are clear signs that the grocery market is improving along with the overall economy.

“Shoppers are taking advantage of lower grocery prices by visiting the supermarkets more often and putting more in their baskets when they go. On average, consumers increased their grocery spending by €5 in the latest period,” Georgiann Harrington, Consumer Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel, says.

Kantar’s figures state that Tesco has maintained its market-leading position with 25.2% market share although its sales have fallen by 2.1% compared to this time last year.

SuperValu is continuing to grow and now has 24.9% market share, only 0.3% behind Tesco, Kantar said.

Kantar’s share figures showed that Dunnes was the best performing supermarket with sales growth of 1.7%, the strongest performance for the retailer since July 2014.

Dunnes attracted an extra 17,000 shoppers through its doors this period and has seen its basket spend increase by 3% to just over €35, Kantar says.

Lidl and Aldi have continued their strong performance with double digit sales growth of 12.5% and 11.5% respectively, the consumer insights company states.

“With signs of recovery in the market, it’s great to see the positive trend continue after the key Christmas period. The battle for shoppers will continue well into 2015 and this will create more value for Irish households as retailers go head to head,” Georgiann Harrington says.