Tesco returns to the top in latest supermarket stats

Tesco has once again scaled to the summit of supermarkets, going by market share, according to the latest findings.

The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel – published today for the 12 weeks ending on May 20, 2018 – show Tesco reclaiming the top spot on its own for the first time in more than two years, with an overall share of 22.3%.

Sales growth

The retailer grew sales by 4.5% – far ahead of the overall market, which saw growth of 2.8%.

The gap between the top three has widened, with SuperValu and Dunnes capturing 22% and 21.8% of the market respectively.

Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, commented on the findings, noting: “A strategic emphasis on volume sales, particularly through its private label offering, has been key to Tesco becoming Ireland’s biggest grocer once again.

“While value sales are robust, growing at 4.5% on last year, volume performance has been even stronger.

Tesco’s own-label range has been at the centre of its performance, now accounting for more than half of overall sales – following double-digit growth this period.

SuperValu sales grew by just under 1% this period, achieving an overall share of 22%. The retailer’s focus on fresh produce through its ‘SuperValu 7’ offer is evident – volume sales of vegetables are up on last year, with staple vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes and carrots having shown particularly strong performance.

For the first time in more than 12 months, Dunnes has seen an increase in customers coming through its doors – an extra 9,000 shoppers in the last 12 weeks.

This, combined with a 3.4% increase in average price paid and shoppers buying more items per trip, helped the retailer grow by 2.6% compared with last year.

Branded sales have been helping to boost discounter performance, as Douglas Faughnan explains: “Combined, private-label items at Aldi and Lidl still account for over 90% of sales, but both retailers have expanded their branded ranges to attract shoppers and encourage more spend from existing customers.

Branded sales at Aldi now account for 7.6% of overall sales, up from 6.5% in 2017 – while 11.1% of Lidl’s sales are from branded items, compared to 8.6% at the same time last year.

“These increases have been central to the overall growth of 2% and 3.5% at Aldi and Lidl respectively.”

Sugar tax

The introduction of the sugar tax in Ireland on May 1 has not yet been reflected in volume sales of carbonated soft drinks – overall volume sales in May were up 4.8% on the same period last year.

However, this did coincide with a period of hot weather over the early May bank holiday, where other drinks categories like mineral water and fruit squash also experienced a volume increase.

Although the tax is in its infancy, there is a substantial level of awareness among Irish shoppers about its existence – 50% say they are aware of it and that it is important to them.