Dublin sales help SuperValu to top spot
Supervalu has pipped Dunnes Stores and Tesco for the top spot as Ireland's biggest grocery retailer, with growth in its sales around Dublin helping to boost its performance.
And figures also suggest that consumers are now shopping around less, consolidating their spending with their preferred retailer - a reversal of a trend seen during the recession, when bargain hunting was a common practice.
The latest data from research group Kantar Worldpanel shows that Musgrave-controlled SuperValu had a 22.3pc share of Ireland's multi-billion-euro grocery market in the 12 weeks to April 22, which included the all-important Easter season. Its sales in Dublin rose 4.5pc in the period.
But there's still very little daylight between the top players in the market, with Tesco's 22.2pc share putting it hot on the heels of its main rival. Dunnes Stores had a 21.9pc share in the latest period.
Kantar Worldpanel bases its data on the percentage share of value of sales, rather than volume.
Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, said that SuperValu has lured more shoppers and persuaded them to spend more.
"While performance remains strong in its Munster heartland, SuperValu's growth in the capital is particularly noteworthy," he said. "The retailer's sales in Dublin grew 4.5pc compared to last year, second only to Tesco which saw growth of 7.4pc in the city."
Mr Faughnan said that Tesco had continued to build on what had been a "strong start" to 2018.
"Overall, sales are up by 6.1pc - almost twice that of the market as a whole," he said.
"While Tesco's performance in Dublin is strong, the rest of Leinster contributed the most to growth, with the retailer's share jumping from 26.1pc to 28pc," said Mr Faughnan. "In contrast, Dunnes' impressive share growth in Connaught and Ulster was offset by a drop in the Dublin region, where share fell from 26.2pc to 24.8pc."
German discounters Aldi and Lidl have continued to perform well in the market.
Lidl had an 11.4pc share in the latest period, while Aldi had 11.2pc.
They saw the value of their year-on-year sales rise 4.2pc and 3pc respectively.
Kantar Worldpanel noted that sales of frozen food at Tesco, SuperValu and Dunnes Stores outpaced those of fresh, chilled and ambient food and drink, and were 7.3pc higher in the period.
UK retailer Iceland now has a 6.3pc share of frozen food sales in Ireland.
The grocery market also remained in deflation during the latest period, with prices falling 0.6pc.