German discounters Lidl and Aldi have secured a record share of the Irish grocery market as hard-pressed consumers continue to gravitate toward the chains. The two retailers now control a combined 13.1pc of Ireland's grocery market.
New data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel shows that Aldi's share of the market grew by over 28pc in the 12 weeks to April 14, giving it a 6.4pc share. Lidl's share rose 7.3pc to 6.6pc.
The period also included the Easter trading window.
David Berry, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "Both retailers have succeeded in recruiting more shoppers while also encouraging existing customers to spend more.
"The average spend by a discounter shopper has increased from €187 last year to €209 in the same 12-week period this year."
Tesco has retained its position as the country's biggest retailer, with Dunnes Stores in second place.
The figures show that Tesco had a 27.7pc share of the market by April 14, down 0.9pc year-on-year. Earlier this month, Tesco said that its like-for-like sales in the Irish market fell 0.3pc in its last financial year – slower than the 2.4pc the previous year.
Dunnes had a 22.5pc share, virtually unchanged since 2012.
"The winning performance of the discounters has placed significant competitive pressure on the other retailers," said Mr Berry.
"SuperValu has posted the strongest response with an extra 80,000 shoppers driving growth of 1.3pc and keeping it ahead of the market. Superquinn is another positive performer for the Musgrave group, recording sales growth for the second successive month."
The Cork-based Musgrave group controls the SuperValu brand here and also owns Superquinn.
SuperValu's share of the market rose 1.3pc to 19.8pc, while Superquinn's stood at 5.6pc.
Musgrave said last week that it plans to spend about €10m this year upgrading Superquinn outlets. Musgrave chief executive Chris Martin said the grocery market here continues to be challenging.
"I think the market has changed on a permanent basis," he said.