Easter heat wave warms up GB grocery market

Date : 30 April 2019

Grocery market growth has picked up to its fastest rate so far in 2019 according to new Kantar data, as retailers benefited from the long build up to a late Easter and record breaking weather.

Inflation and volumes slip

In the 12 weeks to April 21st (Easter Sunday), the GB grocery market grew by 2.0%, boosted by a record £2.5bn spent during the Easter week. Over the whole 12 week period shoppers spent £335m on Easter eggs and seasonal chocolate, and the warm weather over the Easter break lifted ice cream sales by 8% and hay fever remedies by 27% over the past four weeks. Implied volume growth for the period was +0.6%, up from -0.1% in the 12 weeks to 4 April, when growth was suppressed by the later timing of Easter. Inflation at +1.4% was a shade down on the +1.5% of the previous period.

Faster growth from discounters and Co-op

Once again discounters were in the driving seat, with growth of 8.6% from Lidl pushing its market share to a new high of 5.7%. Kantar notes that half of Lidl's growth comes from its chilled aisles; to see how Lidl is showcasing fresh and appealing to families, visit our new store visit report to Lidl Dunstable (Retail Analysis subscribers only). Aldi's meanwhile remained the fastest growing retailer with growth a full percentage point higher than in last month's release, helped by its ambitious store opening programme that includes its new 'Local' format for small urban sites. Aside from Ocado, whose growth picked up despite the fire destroying its Andover fulfilment centre, Co-op was the only other retailer to gain market share. It has benefited from over 100 new food stores opening in 2018 and strong LFL growth, powered by its well regarded Irresistible premium range.

Tesco fastest among the Big Four

At the Big Four growth was modest. Tesco fared best with growth of 1.0%, with these new numbers following soon after its annual results at which the retailer highlighted how improved perceptions to quality and value were boosting sales. For more insight on Tesco's strategy and future plans, visit our newly updated Strategic Outlook for Tesco report (Retail Analysis subscribers only). In the battle for second place, Sainsbury's edged ahead of Asda despite its sales falling in this latest data. Sainsbury's will release its full year results tomorrow when it is likely to set out how it will revive trading in the wake of last week's prohibition of its planned merger with Asda. Digital is set to be a key part of Sainsbury's future with the retailer opening its first mobile only convenience store yesterday. For Morrisons, 0.6% growth is a significant improvement on -0.1% last month, helped by higher sales of alcohol. Note that these figures do not include sales through McColl's and other retail partners which are currently driving the retailer's strong LFL performance.



12 weeks to 22 Apr 2018 (% share)

12 weeks to 21 Apr 2019(% share)

Sales growth (Y-o-Y %)

Tesco 27.6 27.3 +1.0
Sainsbury's 15.9 15.4 -1.2
Asda 15.5 15.2 +0.3
Morrisons 10.5 10.3 +0.6
Aldi 7.3 7.9 +11.6
Co-op 6.0 6.1 +4.5
Lidl 5.4 5.7 +8.6
Waitrose & Partners 5.1 5.0 +0.7
Iceland 2.1 2.1 +1.4
Ocado 1.2 1.3 +6.8
Other multiples 1.8 1.8 +5.5
Total symbols & independents 1.8 1.7 +1.0

Source: Kantar


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