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TOP NEWS: UK grocery inflation eases; sales get Coronation boost

23rd May 2023 08:31

(Alliance News) - UK grocery price inflation eased for the second month in a row, but remained at its third-highest rate since 2008, numbers from Kantar showed on Tuesday.

According to Kantar, grocery price inflation eased 17.2% in the four weeks to May 14, slowing from 17.3% the previous four weeks.

Prices are rising fastest in items such as eggs, milk and ambient cooking sauces, the data revealed.

At the current rate of inflation, the average UK household faces spending GBP833 extra on its annual grocery bill.

In the 12 weeks to May 14, total consumer spend rose 10% to GBP32.92 billion from GBP29.91 billion a year before.

"Grocery sales soared by 16% during the week of the coronation, adding up to an extra GBP218 million passing through the tills. Shoppers filled up their glasses, with sparkling and still wine especially popular. Sales of these products climbed by 129% and 33% respectively, driven by demand not price rises with wine inflation only at 1%," said Fraser McKevitt, Kantar's head of retail & consumer insight.

Tesco PLC sales rose 8.9% to GBP8.93 billion during the 12 weeks, from GBP8.20 billion. Its market share decreased, however, to 27.1% from 27.4%.

J Sainsbury PLC sales rose 11% to GBP4.88 billion from GBP4.42 billion. Unlike Tesco, the supermarket managed to hold on to its market share, which was unchanged at 14.8%.

Fellow London listing Ocado PLC's sales rose 5.6% to GBP632 million from GBP617 million. Its market share edged down to 1.9% from 2.1%.

By sales, Aldi was the fastest-growing grocer. Sales surged 24% to GBP3.34 billion, helping its market share rise to 10.1% from 9.0%. Lidl sales were 23% higher at GBP2.53 billion, with its market share rising to 7.7% from 6.9%.

Elsewhere, Wm Morrison Supermarkets suffered a market share decline to 8.7% from 9.5%. Waitrose's fell to 4.6% from 4.9%.

"Waitrose benefited from a substantial uplift in the week of the coronation, with sales up by 4.8% over the 12 weeks, the highest rate of growth the retailer has achieved since April 2021," Kantar noted.

Co-op's market share declined to 5.7% from 6.1%, while Iceland's was unchanged at 2.3%.

By Elizabeth Winter, Alliance News senior markets reporter

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