Aldi and Lidl sales surge as food inflation accelerates

It may be finding the going a bit tougher in markets such as Denmark, but there's no doubt that Aldi sees the United Kingdom as a core growth opportunity, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel figures.

Grocery market inflation rose to 2.9% in the 12-week period, up from 2.6% reported last month. Overall sales in the market increased by 3.8 percent, the biggest rise since September 2013.

Mr Hayward said the popularity of "own label" products lifted sales at the major supermarkets, with Morrisons enjoying success with its "Best" range and the Co-op's premium "Irresistable" range proving a hit. "62% of the United Kingdom population shopped in an Aldi or Lidl during the past 12 weeks, compared to just 58% this time a year ago, that's an additional 1.1 million households visiting either of these stores", Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar Worldpanel said.

According to Nielsen, Tesco's market share has dropped to 27.2% in the 12 weeks ended May 20, from 27.6% for the comparable period ended May 21, 2016, Sainsbury's fell to 15.1%, from 15.5%, Asda fell to 14%, from 14.5% and Morrisons fell to 10% from 10.3%.

"Consumers are starting to feel the pinch as prices continue to rise, with the average household spending an additional 27 pounds ($34.59) on groceries during the past 12 weeks", said Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar Worldpanel.

May 31 United Kingdom sales at discounters Aldi and Lidl together grew at their fastest rate since January 2015, while grocery inflation continued to rise, industry data showed on Wednesday.

Across the sector, sales of supermarkets' cheaper own-label products were 6% higher than the same period past year, in contrast to growth of only 0.6% in branded products.

Food price inflation accelerated by 0.3 percentage points to 2.9 percent during the past 12 weeks, Kantar said.

Hayward added that Asda has "increased shopper numbers by over 360,000 in the past 12 weeks".

Own-label sales were up 6% year on year, in contrast to branded products which grew by just 0.6% during the same period.

Shoppers are turning to discounters and supermarkets' own label goods as price rises pick up across the grocery market. However, all the big four saw their market shares edge lower.

Iceland also grew well ahead of the market, increasing sales by 8.6% and attracting 380,000 more shoppers to boost its share to to 2.2%.

  • Zachary Reyes