Falling inflation boosts UK grocery sales 

With grocery price inflation in the UK falling to single digits for the first time since July 2022, grocery sales have started to rise.
Tue 14/11/2023 by Richard Wilkinson

This is the finding of the latest Kantar report. Grocery price inflation was 9.7 per cent for the four weeks to 29 October 2023, while take-home grocery sales over the same period rose by 7.4 per cent.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “While the drop to 9.7 per cent is positive news and something of a watershed, consumers will still be feeling the pinch.” McKevitt said retailers are continuing to look at ways of softening the blow for shoppers and slowing the rate of price rises. This has included ramping up promotions, with every retailer increasing the proportion of sales through deals versus last year.

“Consumer spending on promotions has now hit 27.2 per cent of total grocery sales – the highest level we’ve seen since Christmas last year. This is a big gear shift from October 2022 when this figure was less than a quarter,” he said.

Own label lines have grown ahead of their branded counterparts every month since February 2022, with the latest four weeks showing a sales boost of 8 per cent for these lines. However, as we head into the festive period, shoppers typically turn more to brands.

“Some of the traditional shopping demographics and stereotypes have been thrown out of the window,” said McKevitt. “The typical customer walking through the doors of the discounters is now representative of the country as a whole, with 54 per cent of Aldi and Lidl’s sales coming from the more affluent ‘ABC1’ social group – close to the national average of 55 per cent. Discounters are making their mark in frozen items and fresh groceries like meat and veg, with these categories constituting a higher proportion of their sales than the traditional retailers.”

In terms of grocery retail share, Lidl was again the fastest growing retailer this month with sales over the 12 weeks up by 14.7 per cent and share up by 0.4 percentage points to 7.6 per cent, according to Kantar.


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