Thursday 22 March 2018

Supervalu snatches Ireland's grocer crown from Dunnes due to record Christmas spending


John Mulligan & Louise Kelly

SuperValu has regained the title of Ireland’s biggest grocery retailer, snatching the position from rival Dunnes Stores during what was a record Christmas for the grocery market, the latest figures for the sector show

Data from research group Kantar Worldpanel published this morning shows that SuperValu – controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group - had a 22.8pc share of Ireland’s multi-billion euro grocery market during the 12 weeks to January 1.

Dunnes Stores saw its market share slip to 22.7pc. Tesco had 22.4pc – a percentage point more than in the previously reported 12-week period. The Kantar Worldpanel figures measure the percentage share of the value of sales.

The average household spent €193 on Christmas groceries, €35 more than they did in the previous festive season.

“After a turbulent 2016, shoppers really chose to treat themselves this Christmas,” according to David Berry, director with Kantar Worldpanel.

“Irish families spent 9pc more on seasonal confectionery than last year, making sure they had plenty of sweet treats to keep them going over the festive period,” he said.

Read more: Dunnes Stores is now Ireland's biggest grocery retailer - for the first time in more than a decade

“More were in the mood for a Christmas tipple too, with alcohol experiencing double-digit growth.  This was partially down to more multi-buy promotions in stores tempting shoppers to up their spend.”

Mr Berry said that the grocery market remained hugely competitive in the latest period.

“Despite a return to second place, Dunnes Stores continued to perform well,” he added.

“Sales for the Christmas period were almost 5pc higher than in 2015, and the average spend per trip reached a new high of €41.60, significantly ahead of any other retailer.”

He said that’s Tesco’s ‘Finest’ range also did well over Christmas.

Aldi posted the strongest growth of all Irish supermarkets, with its sales up 5.3pc. The retailer attracted 37,000 new shoppers over Christmas, boosting its market share to 10.5pc.

“Our customers chose to ‘trade-up’ for Christmas, a trend reflected in strong sales across the 300 seasonal products we introduced specifically for Christmas and our premium, Specially Selected range of food and drink.," Group Buying Director Aldi Ireland Finbar McCarthy said.

"Sales across our Specially Selected range increased over 30pc year-on-year for Christmas 2016. Irish consumers sought out premium products this Christmas, and Aldi enabled consumers to celebrate Christmas without major expense or compromising on quality.”

“Irish consumers have continued to place their trust in Aldi this January which is reflected in a very strong start to 2017.   Our customers are focused on a January healthy reset with our Super 6 promotion on fresh fruit and vegetables, our Foodie Market range of healthy products and health themed weekly Specialbuys proving very popular,” he said. 

Lidl also recorded positive results, with festive sales 2.3pc higher than in the corresponding period in 2015.

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