Latest market figures from Nielsen show that supermarket sales were at their best for three years in the four weeks to August 13. The 0.9% uplift due to hot weather and the Rio Olympics combined is the biggest increase since March 2015, and noted that the figures would have been even better if it were not for the grocery price war. Items such as mineral water, sparkling wine and fresh burgers contributed towards the increase.
Data from Nielsen showed the Big Four players – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda – saw two months in a row of sales growth by value and volume for the first time in more than two years.
The value of sales rose 0.4% year-on-year in the four weeks to September 10, while sales volumes increased by 0.3%.
While the Big 4, led by Tesco, continues to have a stronghold on the grocery sector in the UK, German supermarket retailers Aldi and Lidl continue to challenge them with rapid market share growth. Researchers Kantar Worldpanel, found that there were rises of more than 10% for discounters Aldi and Lidl but Tesco also seeing signs of hope as its sales falls slowed. Asda saw its market share continue to fall.
“The stellar Team GB performances at the Olympics combined with the hot weather, particularly in mid-July, helped supermarkets to their own personal best for some time,” Nielsen’s UK head of retail insight Mike Watkins said.
“Brexit seems to have been replaced by an Olympic ‘feel-good’ factor among shoppers and there were more visits to buy food and drink in the last four weeks than this time last year, with most retailers benefitting from an increase in shopper penetration.”