Wednesday 15 August 2018

Grocery sales soar as 'Beast from the East' brings blizzard of stockpiling

James Byrne, from Kildare Civil Defence, delivers bread and milk to people trapped by the snow during the ‘Beast from the East’ storm. Photo: Damien Eagers
James Byrne, from Kildare Civil Defence, delivers bread and milk to people trapped by the snow during the ‘Beast from the East’ storm. Photo: Damien Eagers
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The 'Beast from the East' that dumped huge amounts of snow on the country failed to dampen grocery sales, with consumers stockpiling for the blizzard that wreaked havoc across the country.

New figures from research group Kantar Worldpanel show that Irish shoppers also flocked to grocery outlets in the week following the storm, as they replenished bare cupboards. Households spent an average of €20.33 more than usual on groceries that week to restock.

"Although shoppers had upped their spend in preparation for the Beast from the East, the length of the storm meant that cupboards were emptied by the time it came to an end," according to Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

"Far from denting the Irish grocery market, the subsequent shopping rush meant that the Beast from the East made little impression on overall sales."

The latest figures show that Dunnes Stores and Musgrave-controlled SuperValu were neck-and-neck in terms of grocery market share during the 12 weeks to March 25, each with 22.1pc.

Tesco had 21.9pc, but it also posted its strongest sales growth in more than six years, with the figure rising 7.1pc during that period.

"Encouraging shoppers to splash out and spend more every time they shop has proved the key to Tesco's success," according to Mr Faughnan.

He also said that sales of Easter eggs soared in the run-up to the festival.

"Sales of Easter eggs and seasonal chocolate confectionery in March rocketed by 75.2pc compared with this time last year, with price rises of 2.4pc doing little to deter customers from their chocolate fix," said Mr Faughnan.

However, Easter this year also fell on April 1 - more than two weeks earlier than in 2017.

Lidl had 11.5pc of the grocery market share in the latest period, while Aldi had 11.3pc.

Irish Independent

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