Business Irish

Friday 24 January 2020

Bottoms up: Record Christmas for grocers but alcohol slumps

Sales go flat: Consumer demand for champagne and sparkling wines dropped by 11.3pc during December
Sales go flat: Consumer demand for champagne and sparkling wines dropped by 11.3pc during December
Bright spot: Christmas lights in Grafton Street, Dublin. Shoppers spent €1.2bn on groceries last month
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

IRISH shoppers splashed out a record €1.2bn on groceries for Christmas, but sales of champagne and sparkling wine lost their fizz over the festive period.

IRISH shoppers splashed out a record €1.2bn on groceries for Christmas, but sales of champagne and sparkling wine lost their fizz over the festive period.

The splurge on everything from turkeys to Brussels sprouts in the four weeks to December 29 was €32.5m more than in the corresponding period a year earlier, according to global data firm Nielsen.

But even as they stocked up, Irish shoppers were buying less alcohol to nurse themselves through the season.

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Nielsen said that alcohol sales in the four-week period declined 2.9pc. Sales of champagne and sparkling wine slumped 11.3pc.

Consumers may have been trying to be a bit more health conscious in the season of indulgence, with sales of non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic beer jumping by 27.2pc.

The research firm said that Irish households' average grocery spend per week rose to €182 from €165 in December.

Rival research firm Kantar also said yesterday that grocery sales here topped €1bn in December. Kantar said this is the first time the €1bn mark has been breached in December, but Nielsen claimed that in 2018, grocery sales in December were also higher than that level.

Kantar consumer insight director Charlotte Scott said that Ireland enjoyed a "less traditional" Christmas in 2019, with some classics "falling out of favour".

Aldi was the best performer over Christmas, with its sales jumping 6.3pc in the 12 weeks to December 29.

Kantar said that Dunnes Stores retained its position as Ireland's biggest grocery retailer in the period, with a 23.6pc share.

Tesco was second, with 22pc, while SuperValu had 21.8pc. Aldi had an 11.3pc share, while Lidl had 10.9pc.

Irish Independent

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