Irish grocery market shows strong start to 2019

The Irish grocery market has shown a strong start to 2019, after a “record-breaking” end to 2018, according to data analyst Kantar Worldpanel.

During the 12 weeks up to January 27, year-on-year sales have grown 3.4%, despite shoppers spending less after the Christmas period.

“While families were willing to splurge in the run up to Christmas, January has seen them cut back – the average household spent €120 less on groceries during the four weeks to January 27 than in December,” explained Douglas Faughnan, consumer insights director at Kantar Worldpanel.

Shoppers were less likely to reach for more expensive branded and premium products, with sales falling 28% and 31% compared with December.

Faughnan explained that shoppers “indulged” themselves in the run up to Christmas, but appeared to be willing to continue a decent level of spending on fruit and vegetables – Irish consumers splashed out an extra €7 million on these products this January compared to the same month last year.

He went on to say that more than a third of Irish households bought either beer, cider or wine last month, with wine proving to be the most popular alcohol purchase; 25% of shoppers bought at least one bottle in the last four weeks.

Retailers

Looking at the best-performing retailers, Aldi and Lidl continued to gain shares in the market, with more than 70% of households visiting both chains in the last 12 weeks.

“Aldi and Lidl have demonstrated their popularity at two distinctly different times of year – December and January – by providing shoppers with opportunities to both indulge and save,” argued Faughnan.

Both Aldi and Lidl raked up record market shares over Christmas, which has continued into 2019 – they have both increased sales by 10% and 5.2% respectively.

Dunnes was the only other retailer to increase its market share during the period, boosting its sales by 4%; Faughnan explained: “Dunnes continues to engender loyalty among its existing shoppers with its strong premium-own label and branded ranges.”

Tesco and SuperValu – whose costumer numbers remained flat – showed slight increases in sales during January – 1.5% and 1.3% respectively when compared to last year.

Finally, Katar Worldpanel highlighted that grocery market inflation stands at around 1.7% for the 12 weeks up to January 27.