SuperValu regains top spot after a record Christmas
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.
Data from research group Kantar Worldpanel confirms 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," said 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.
"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 competitive.
"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 Tesco's 'Finest' range also did well over Christmas.
Aldi posted the strongest growth of all supermarkets here, with its sales up 5.3pc. The retailer lured 37,000 new shoppers over Christmas, boosting its market share to 10.5pc. Lidl saw its festive sales rise 2.3pc compared to the corresponding period in 2015, giving it a 10.3pc share.