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Cash-poor shoppers turning to Aldi, Lidl

IRISH consumers are putting the squeeze on their grocery shopping budgets as record numbers are turning to discount supermarkets.

Food bills have crept up by 5pc so far in 2013 and shoppers have decided that enough is enough.

Consumers are more price conscious than ever when it comes to their weekly shop and sales of budget and own brand labels have risen by 3pc.

Low-cost chains Lidl and Aldi are now taking a significant chunk of the supermarket share – at a record 7.1pc and 6.7pc.



The German retailers are now well ahead of Irish-owned Superquinn's share of 5.5pc.

The rival chains have a combined 13.8pc share of Ireland's grocery market – compared to 11.8pc share a year earlier, according to the latest data for the 12 weeks to June 9.

Tesco and Dunnes remain the biggest players, although both have recorded a slight fall by 0.9pc to 27pc and 0.5pc to 21.9pc respectively.

David Berry, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel, said that consumers are looking for better value for their hard-earned cash. "Rising grocery bills have encouraged many shoppers to switch to discount chains, with Lidl and Aldi now boasting record market shares of 7.1pc and 6.7pc respectively," Mr Berry said.

"Those who have continued to shop at the larger grocers have become more price conscious in the past year, with savvy shoppers driving up sales of own label products by 3.8pc.

"This contrasts sharply with the 3.6pc decline seen by brand labels."

However, although Mr Berry said that Tesco and Dunnes are continuing to feel the effect of strong growth at the discount retailers, SuperValu and Superquinn have both performed in line with the market, maintaining their market shares of 19.7pc and 5.5pc respectively.

Despite the recession, the cost of buying goods in Ireland has been gradually rising, Mr Berry said.

But consumers will start to see this trend falling back.

"Now we are seeing grocery prices increasing at the slower rate of 4.8pc, a welcome sign for shoppers that months of rapid increases may be coming to an end."