The UK’s major supermarkets have posted the fastest growth so far this year boosted by shoppers hunting for Easter eggs.
According to Kantar Worldpanel supermarket sector sales grew 1.1% for the 12 weeks ending March 27, which included early Easter celebrations, compared with the same period last year.
The Co-operative did particularly well with sales up 3.9%, its fastest growth since it bought Somerfield back in 2011, and increasing its market share by 0.1% to 6.1%. Sales of fresh foods and own label products did well.
Sainsbury’s lead the so-called Big Four with a sales hike of 1.2%. Tesco’s decline lessened with sales now down by -0.2% year-on-year but its market share fell by 0.3% to 28.1%. Morrisons sales dropped by 2.4%, again an improvement on last month, with its market share dropping by 0.4% to 10.5%.
Lidl retained its place as the fastest growing supermarket with sales racing 17.7% higher to capture 4.4% of the market. Aldi grew sales by 14.4% to hit a new record-high market share of 6%.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “An early Easter gave the market a sales boost of £152million compared to last year. Britain’s love of all things sweet was in evidence with 63% of households buying at least one chocolate egg during March, spending an average of £12 over the month. Over half the population bought hot cross buns.”
He said shoppers were also continuing to benefit from falling shop prices with like-for-like prices 1.5% lower than this time last year.
McKevitt added: “While saving money on the basics, consumers are not averse to treating themselves. Premium own label sales grew by 6.6% in the past 12 weeks, well ahead of the overall grocery market. Aldi and Lidl are leading the way, growing their premium lines more than twice as quickly as the rest of their ranges.”