UK shoppers are visiting more stores, more often but their basket spend is smaller, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel.
Grocery share figures, published today for the 12 weeks ending 25 December 2011, show the grocery market growing at 4.8% per year.
This growth rate remains below the 5.9% food inflation rate, reflecting the intense and ongoing price competition between retailers, Kantar said.
Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “We continue to see a price war as the big four battle for market share. Tesco’s Big Price Drop has had an aggressive response from its competitors and put pressure on its share, which has slipped from 30.5% a year ago to 30.1%. In contrast, Asda has seen a strong year-on-year performance with its share up from 16.8% to 17.2%. This is in part thanks to the conversion of Netto stores which it acquired earlier in the year.
“Sainsbury’s has also enjoyed a positive year-end performance with its Brand Price Match helping the retailer to grow its share to 16.7%. This is the highest share we have reported for Sainsbury’s since March 2003. Morrisons also achieved growth just ahead of the market and held share as a result.”
Elsewhere, the ‘two nations’ divide remains a prevalent feature of the grocery market with Iceland, Aldi (+17.9%), Lidl (+10.9%) and Waitrose (+9.1%) all performing strongly, said Kantar. The performance of the discounters was bolstered by some Netto shoppers turning to their stores.
Garner said: “Behind these top line numbers, there is now strong evidence households are shopping around more. Nearly all retailers can claim to have more shoppers, who are making more trips than last year. However, basket sizes are now smaller – a classic response to tight household budgets.”