Ulster Grocer

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Food inflation puts a dent in local grocery sales


Northern Ireland consumers are shopping less frequently, and buying less when they do, in response to rising food prices, according to the latest monthly report from Kantar.

The Northern Irish grocery market saw sales drop by 4.6% in the year to 10 July 2022,” said Emer Healy, senior retail analyst at Kantar. “Inflation now stands at 5% which is the highest on record.

“Inflation remains a key challenge for retailers, manufacturers and shoppers alike as the average price per pack rose by 3.7% with everyday staples such as salt, margarine, pasta, cooking oil and milk seeing the steepest increases.

“As a result, shoppers are picking up 7.7% less volume per trip and are making on average two less trips to the store which has contributed to the market’s decline.

“Over the last 12 weeks, the picture has been more nuanced. Sales slowed by just 0.9%, whereas volume per trip declined by a massive 9.6%. However, visits to store were up 2.5% versus the same time period last year.”

However, some categories welcomed a boost. “As shoppers prepared for warmer weather and hosting barbecues, the focus seemed to firmly on snacks spending an additional £957,000 on crisps, £836,000 on chilled prepared salads and £642,000 on ice cream compared to last year,” said Healy.

“Tesco maintained its top position and is Northern Ireland’s largest grocer with a 35.8% share of the market. Tesco welcomed an influx of new shoppers in-store which contributed an additional £23.1m to their overall performance.

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“All retailers declined versus last year, although Lidl declined at the slowest pace and increased its share by 0.2pp compared to last July. A boost of new shoppers contributed an additional £10.8m to their overall performance.

“Asda’s holds 16.2% share. Sainsbury’s holds 17.0% of the market this period.”