Price is becoming less of a differentiator for shoppers at the top four grocers, while the budget and premium ends of the market continue to grow, the latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel show.
Figures for the 12 weeks ending 15 September 2013 reveal strong performances by retailers at both ends of the market pose a significant challenge for the big four supermarkets. The combined growth of Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose has taken three market share points out of the grocery market over the past three years and is forcing the major supermarkets to compete for an ever-smaller middle ground, said Kantar Worldpanel.
The discounters have continued to perform strongly with year-on-year sales growth of 32.7% for Aldi – another all-time record – and 14.3% for Lidl. At the same time, there is no sign of Waitrose running out of steam as it delivers growth of 9.7%.
Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Price match promotions such as Asda’s ‘Price Guarantee’, Sainsbury’s ‘Brand Match’ and Tesco’s ‘Price Promise’ have meant that price is less of a differentiator and shoppers cannot be convinced to switch outlets based on cost alone.
“Sainsbury’s is the only big four grocer to increase its market share over the past year, growing from 16.4% to 16.6% and recording market-beating growth of 5.1%. The other big retailers have all lost market share over the past year, although Asda is ahead of Tesco and Morrisons in terms of its year-on-year sales growth which stands at 2.4%.”
There has also been a renewed focus on providing high-quality own label products and this strategy seems to be paying dividends, according to Kantar Worldpanel. The upmarket ranges of Tesco Finest and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference have both registered double digit growth as shoppers respond to the premium offer, analysts report.