The latest market share data release from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks to 26 March, shows that growth in GB grocery retail slowed to +1.4% in the period, impacted above all by the offset in Easter timing, with this key holiday week in 2017 falling in mid April as opposed to late March in 2016. This seasonal effect was in spite of a further sharp upturn in the rate of inflation, which stepped up to +2.3% from just 1.4% in the previous period to 26 February.
12 weeks to 27 March 2016 (% share)
12 weeks to 26 March 2017 (% share)
Sales growth (Y-o-Y %)
|Total symbols & independents
Source: Kantar Worldpanel
Discounter growth strengthens despite market slowdown
While the leading retailers all saw their growth rates slowing in line with the wider market, Aldi and Lidl both accelerated over the period, with sales up 14.3 and 15.0% respectively. This suggests that these discounters are less affected by the Easter spending than their larger mainstream competitors, which benefit from being the key destination for large scale shopping in the run-up to this key family holiday. The disproportionate growth of the discounters saw their combined share hit a new high of 11.7%, up 1.3 percentage points on 2016.
A good period for Iceland
Iceland also saw a notable acceleration of growth in face of the market slowdown. Its sales were up 9.8% over the period, its strongest 12-week performance for four years. Iceland's performance was notably boosted by the rapid growth in its chilled and fresh ranges. While frozen still makes up the essential core of the Iceland offer, chilled and fresh categories now comprise up to 25% of the sales mix by value.
Morrisons leads growth in big four
Of the four largest retailers only Morrisons achieved positive growth in the period, with sales up 0.3%, though this represents a sharper slowdown than for the other three. Having seen growth ahead of the market in February, performance in March left Morrisons lagging the market again, 1.1 percentage points behind the average. The implied growth for Tesco and Sainsbury's was -0.4 and -0.7% respectively, while Asda once again suffered the weakest performance of the four, with sales falling by 1.8%, leaving it 3.2 percentage points adrift of the market.
Find out more about the opportunities for your business with key retailers at these events: