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Asda the best performing of the big four for the first time since 2014

Latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel highlight Asda’s continued recovery, whilst supermarket sales as a whole grew at their fastest rate this year – up 3.6% – thanks to football fever and the prolonged hot weather.

For the 12-week period to 15 July 2018, Asda’s sales climbed 3.7% year-on-year – its strongest growth in more than five years and the first time since December 2014 that it has been the best performing of the Big Four. Buoyed by a sales increase of 9% to its core, standard own label lines – which make up 40% of its sales – Asda held its market share steady at 15.1%.  The retailer also encouraged an additional 230,000 shoppers through its doors over the past 12 weeks.

Meanwhile, Morrisons posted strong growth of 2.9%, with its market share unchanged at 10.5%.  Kantar Worldpanel highlighted that over the 12-week period, the retailer’s premium ‘The Best’ range outperformed its cheaper own label options, helping Morrisons to continue a run of growth stretching back to January 2017.

Although Tesco’s convenience Express stores proved popular with shoppers, contributing to the grocer’s overall growth of 2.3%, its market share slipped 0.3 percentage points to 27.6%.  Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s continued its weak run with sales growth of just 0.8% and its market share declining by 0.4 percentage points to 15.6%.

Benefiting from its title as the official supermarket of the England football team, Lidl saw its sales rise by 9.7% and market share increase 0.3 percentage points to 5.4%. Meanwhile, Aldi returned to double-digit growth – with sales up 10.9% – to reach a market-share high for the retailer of 7.5%.

The two discounters are now on the verge of hitting a combined market share of 13% for the first time. Reports yesterday suggested that Tesco is close to launching its own discount format to win back shoppers from Aldi and Lidl.

Commenting on the robust growth in the supermarket market, Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “England may not have won the World Cup – but its journey to the semi-finals not only helped to kickstart the summer, but supermarket sales to boot.

“Over the past month, football-frenzied customers visited supermarkets an extra 13 million times as they hurried to stock up on World Cup-viewing essentials, with alcohol in particular the stand-out winner.  Christmas and Easter aside, the week that the England football team played both Colombia and Sweden saw more spent on alcohol than ever before – a colossal £287m.”

Meanwhile, Kantar Worldpanel’s data showed that grocery inflation now stands at 1.8%, with prices rising fastest in markets such as butter, colas and canned fish.

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