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Coronavirus: Rise in home-cooking sees Northern Ireland shoppers spend 20% more on groceries in last three months

Emer Healy

Northern Ireland shoppers are spending more on ingredients for home-cooking during lockdown with sales of some items up by nearly 30%, according to a report.

And sales of liquid soap are also up by just over 40%, information company Kantar said.

Sales of groceries were up 4.4% over the last year - and in the last three months, covering the run-up to lockdown, growth in sales spiked to nearly 20%.

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, said: "The Northern Irish grocery market recorded strong growth in the past year largely reflecting the impact of the recent lockdown. Total take-home grocery sales grew by 4.4% during the 52 weeks to 17 May 2020.

"Looking at the latest 12-week period, growth spiked to 19.7%, as people stocked up pre-lockdown and continued to eat more meals at home."

She said sales of household cleaners and liquid soap were up by 14.4% and 40.2% respectively.

And with restaurants closed during lockdown, the cookbooks have come out. Ms Healy said: "People are turning to the kitchen to stay entertained, and home cooking has increased by 11.7%, with those looking to recreate their favourite restaurant meals boosting sales of international ingredients by 26.6% year on year."

Tesco, which has around 50 stores here, had retained its position as Northern Ireland's top grocer, with a market share of 35.3% and sales growth of 4.9%.

Even though people were spending more per shop at Asda, its sales were down because shopper numbers had fallen -leaving it with a weakened market share of 16.1%. Sainsbury's was boosted by a 2.2% increase in shopper frequency as well as a boost in trip size to grow its sales by 4.2%. Its market share was 7.2%. German discounter Lidl remained the fastest-growing grocer. It has been reporting the strongest growth - though it remains in fourth place behind Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda.

Belfast Telegraph