Shoppers reach for Tesco Finest and Morrisons’ The Best

Shoppers are reaching for premium ranges such as Tesco Finest and Morrisons’ The Best, according to the latest grocery market figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks ending 13 June 2010.

In spite of total grocery market growth remaining subdued at 3.7%, this figure is higher than the grocery price inflation of 1.5%, indicating shoppers are continuing to trade up as the gloom of the recession tails off, said Kantar.

The premium retailer Waitrose is also enjoying consistent share growth from a low point of 3.6% in November 2008 to 4.2% today.

Among the top four retailers, the last period’s trends remain intact: Tesco holds share at 30.8%, while Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have grown by 6.1% and 4.4% respectively.

Asda, however, continues to underperform with its market share back down to a level not seen since November 2008.

Edward Garner, communications director for Kantar Worldpanel, said: “It’s interesting to see shoppers continuing to trade up as demonstrated by Sainsbury’s and Waitrose as well as Tesco Finest. As we emerge from the grip of the recession, quality is back on the agenda. This has come to Asda’s attention with their latest drive to promote their prize-winning products alongside the value message we’ve seen in recent months.”

Somerfield conversions continue to lift the Co-operative share.

While Iceland is reaping the results of its push into the convenience sector, with aggressive long-term promotions on staple items such as milk, the hard discounters present a mixed picture, said Kantar.

Aldi has recorded another strong performance, with growth of 7.9%, in contrast to Netto, which slumped into negative territory with a 2.2% decline. The performance of the Netto stores will no doubt be bolstered in the future by its acquisition by Asda with increases in staffing and product ranges, said Garner

Inflation update:

Grocery price inflation has remained low and the figure for the 12-week ending period 13 June 2010 is 1.5%*. This low-inflation environment will be reflected in lower average growth for the grocery market and creates a challenge for retailers to deliver growth against earlier strong comparatives.

*This figure is based on over 75,000 identical products compared year-on-year in the proportions purchased by British shoppers and therefore represents the most authoritative figure currently available. It is a ‘pure’ inflation measure in that shopping behaviour is held constant between the two comparison periods – shoppers are likely to achieve a lower personal inflation rate if they trade down or seek out more offers.