Irish shoppers have splashed out an extra €2bn on take-home groceries over the past year as the country remains in the grip of the pandemic, new figures published this morning show.
The data from research group Kantar also shows that the average annual household grocery bill jumped by €1,000 in the past year.
Online sales have also continued to accelerate as some people continue to avoid shops and busy households opt for the convenience of delivery to the front door.
Last month was another record-breaking month for online grocery shopping in Ireland, according to Kantar, when it accounted for 6.3pc of all grocery sales in February. Before the pandemic, the typical figure was about 2.7pc.
Kantar said 241,500 people here made an online grocery order in February, compared with 114,800 in February last year.
“As we approach a full year since the first national lockdown in Ireland, we can see how the months of restaurant and bar closures, working from home and home schooling have added up,” said Kantar retail analyst Emer Healy.
“All those extra meals and snacks at home have led to an extra €2bn spent on take-home groceries, including Irish shoppers splashing out €7.6m on tea and €19.5m on instant coffee to get their fix at home,” she added.
All those extra meals and snacks at home have led to an extra €2bn spent on take-home groceries.
The Kantar data also gives an additional insight into our home lives during a pandemic: Sales of deodorant fell 5.4pc in the past 12 weeks as the country endured another lockdown. Sales of shampoo dipped 0.8pc, while conditioner sales fell 2.7pc.
Staying at home, using masks and reducing social contact has also meant less chance of contracting normal flus and colds. Sales of cold treatments plunged 55pc in the 12 weeks to February 21. Cough liquid sales were down 60pc and sales of lozenges fell 42pc. Sales of liquid soaps almost doubled in the past 12-week period.
“The 12-month milestone is significant for retailers as it means we start to compare sales against the record-breaking levels of the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and we will see year-on-year growth decline from next month as a result,” said Ms Healy.
SuperValu, controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group, had the biggest share of Ireland’s multi-billion-euro grocery market in the latest 12-week period, with a 22.3pc share.
Dunnes Stores was second, on 22.1pc, while Tesco came in third, with 21.8pc.
Kantar measures market share in terms of the value of goods sold, rather than volume.
Lidl had a 12pc share in the latest 12-week period, while Aldi had 11.4pc.
And as concerns continue that Brexit-related tariffs will result in higher costs of producing bread and other flour-based products, grocery inflation stood at 1.5pc in the 12 weeks to February 21. That compares to 1.6pc in the previous 12-week period.