Grocery spend in NI hits record high as Lidl's sales rise by 8% in last year
Annual spending on groceries in Northern Ireland is at a record £4,336, up £38 on the same period last year, new research shows.
Kantar Worldpanel's Northern Irish supermarket share figures for the 52 weeks to October 7, 2018, show spend has increased by 1.4% over the past year in NI.
It also revealed that Tesco, which has around 50 stores here, is still at the top of the supermarket share leaderboard with 35.2% of the grocery sector. It is followed by Sainsbury's (17.3%) and ASDA (17.1%).
Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel said: "Tesco continues to lead the field with sales up 1.9%. The supermarket's growth is thanks in no small part to the fact that the average price paid by Tesco shoppers has risen by 3.5% in the past 12 months."
Despite being fourth on the supermarket share board, it was budget retailer Lidl which claimed the highest increase in sales over the year with a jump of 8.1%.
The German retailer, which has 38 stores here, has also increased its supermarket share to 5.8%, up 0.4% on last year.
Mr Faughnan added: "Lidl continues to perform strongly in Northern Ireland, with sales up 8.1% on last year. With the average product £0.35 cheaper than the rest of the market, the grocer is continuing to attract new shoppers while encouraging existing customers to buy more every time they visit."
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Meanwhile, Sainsbury's has maintained its position in second place in the supermarket sector, continuing its lead over rival ASDA.
Sainsbury's, which has 14 Northern Ireland stores, and ASDA, which has 17 stores, are set for a merger next year, should the retailers' plans get approval from the competition watchdog.
The £12bn move is currently under scrutiny by the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) which revealed last week that it would take into account the rapid growth of Aldi and Lidl when deciding whether to approve the mega-merger.
In its latest update, the CMA said it has broadened its scope to not only include the German discounters but non-grocery competitors such as B&M, Amazon, and John Lewis & Partners.