7th Nov 2023 09:53
(Alliance News) - UK grocery price inflation dropped to an eight-month low of 9.7% in the four weeks to October 29, according to survey data from Kantar on Tuesday.
The rate dropped into the single digits for the first time since July 2022. In the same period, take-home grocery sales rose by 7.4% from a year ago.
"Grocery price inflation has finally dropped into single digits after 16 months of double-digit growth, marking a big milestone for the British public and retailers. While the drop to 9.7% is positive news and something of a watershed, consumers will still be feeling the pinch. We're only seeing year-on-year price falls in a limited number of major categories including butter, dried pasta and milk," said Fraser McKevitt head of retail & consumer insight at Kantar.
In the longer 12-week period to October 29, grocery price inflation was 10.7%, with prices in categories such as eggs, sugar confectionery and frozen potato products rising at the fastest pace.
"Retailers continue to look at ways of softening the blow for shoppers and slowing the rate of price rises. This has included upping the ante on promotions – every single one of the grocers increased the proportion of sales through deals versus last year which is something that has only happened on one other occasion in nearly ten years," McKevitt said.
McKevitt noted that shoppers are continuing to trade down on the items they buy.
"Own label lines have grown ahead of their branded counterparts every month since February 2022, with the latest four weeks showing a sales boost of 8.0% for these lines. However, the picture may well change as we go headlong into the festive period, when shoppers typically turn more to brands," he commented.
Kantar said Lidl was once again the fastest-growing retailer, with sales in the 12 weeks to October 29 rising 14.7%, and its market share rising to 7.6% from 7.2%.
Meanwhile, Aldi and Waitrose were the only two supermarkets to see their customer numbers grow, with Aldi attracting 207,000 more customers during the period. Aldi sales rose by 13.2% as its market share grew to 9.7%, while Waitrose sales rose by 5.4% as it took a 4.6% market share.
J Sainsbury PLC was the fastest-growing traditional supermarket in October, with sales rising 10.1% in the 12 weeks, as its market share rose to 15.2% from 14.9% last year.
Meanwhile, the UK's largest supermarket, Tesco PLC, saw sales rise 9.5% as it took 27.4% of the market, up from 27.0%.
Morrisons maintained its growth, with sales up 3.2% and its market share at 8.6%. Asda's market share was 13.6%, with sales up 2.6%. Ocado Group PLC sales rose 12.6%, with its market share rising marginally to 1.7% from 1.6%.
"When it comes to where people shop, Brits definitely aren't loyal and some of the traditional shopping demographics and stereotypes have been thrown out of the window," McKevitt said.
Tesco shares rose 0.6% to 277.60 pence each on Tuesday morning in London, as Sainsbury's shares were up 1.7% to 275.00p each and Ocado shares rose by 0.9% to 534.60p each.
By Harvey Dorset, Alliance News reporter
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