Kantar’s latest grocery market retail figures show a drop of 6.4% in the 12 weeks to 28 November. As COVID-19 measures relaxed, a move away from retail sales is unsurprising and, in fact, they are a very strong 8.9% ahead of the corresponding period in 2019.
A notable feature of the past quarter has been the level of groceries purchased online with sales growth of 14.3% in the past quarter.
Dunnes Stores keeps top spot in Irish supermarket trade with 22.8% market share, closely followed by SuperValu on 22.1% and Tesco a close third on 21.4% market share. There is then a gap to the ever-increasing discounters with Aldi nudging ahead of Lidl on 12.5% market share compared to 12.4% for Lidl.
Kantar has costed the Christmas dinner for four people in 2021 at €30.97
Food price inflation of 1.2% in the last quarter is well below the overall inflation rate which is driven by energy and fuel cost. That said, Kantar has costed the Christmas dinner for four people in 2021 at €30.97, which is 4.3% higher than last year.
Smaller decline in UK
Retail grocery sales also fell in the UK in the most recent 12-week period which ended on 31 October, though not by as much as in Ireland. Sales there were down 1.9%, compared with the same period last year but 7.3% ahead of the corresponding period in 2019.
Kantar estimates that it would take three years for supermarket footfall to return to normal
Consumer visits to the supermarket in the UK are increasing slowly to an average 15.7 times monthly, but this is still 40m fewer overall per month than pre-pandemic. At this rate of recovery, Kantar estimates that it would take three years for supermarket footfall to return to normal.
Beef and lamb sales down in UK
Kantar data published by AHDB shows a drop in retail beef sales for the 12 weeks to the end of November 2021.
Volume sales are down 10.4% while the value of sales is down 6.3% compared with the same period last year. Volumes are also down on 2019 by 2%
Lamb sales are also down in the UK for the most recent quarter, as volume fell by 15% and the spend was down by 11.9%
There is also likely some consumer push back on higher prices
This decline reflects the fact that the hospitality and food service had returned to full capacity during this period. There is also likely some consumer push back on higher prices but perhaps there is also a supply issue.
The volume of British beef and lamb available in the second half of 2021 was lower and given UK retailers outside Tesco and Sainsbury’s commitment to exclusively British, they may have been struggling for supplies as well.