PEOPLE SPENT LESS on groceries as the Budget approached, the latest figures show – but retailers are doing their best to tempt people back in.
Kantar Worldpanel’s figures for the grocery sector in Ireland look at the 12 weeks up to 13 October, and show a slowdown in grocery market growth in the run-up to the Budget 2014 announcement.
The sales growth for the total market was 0.6 per cent, which is its lowest level since June. According to Kantar, this was because consumers tried to manage their spending by shopping less often.
David Berry, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel, said that retailers have been trying to encourage people to spend again in their stores.
“Many of the grocery retailers have been actively targeting shoppers with money saving vouchers in recent months and this has led to a change in consumer shopping habits,” he said.
Shoppers have switched from the ‘little and often’ approach to stocking up, making fewer trips, but purchasing more items per shop.
Dunnes’ ‘Shop and Save’ campaign has helped to drive sales – which are up by 5 per cent – as well as boosting its market share by 1 percentage point to 23 per cent.
Meanwhile, Aldi and Lidl both continue to show growth rates of 23 per cent and 10.3 per cent respectively, which Kantar describes as “impressive”. Despite this, their combined market share of 14.5 per cent has dipped below the record level of 15.1 per cent in August.
SuperValu’s sales are similar to last year’s, although they show a slight dip in share, while sales at Superquinn have fallen by 1.8 per cent.
David pointed out that Tesco has experienced its twelfth successive quarter of decline. “Its ‘Tesco Price Promise’ campaign is clearly aimed at challenging the view that Aldi and Lidl are cheaper, and it will be interesting to see the response from shoppers over the coming months,” he suggested.
Although people were buying less groceries in the past few months, perhaps they were choosing to spend their money on fresh ingredients. A recent study carried out by Bord Bia showed that people in Ireland are cooking more meals from scratch since the recession kicked in.