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Major spike in grocery sales since restrictions began

Take-home grocery sales grew by 25% over the last 12 weeks – the fastest rate of growth in 15 years.

Supermarket sales have jumped in recent weeks since Covid-19 restrictions were announced.
Supermarket sales have jumped in recent weeks since Covid-19 restrictions were announced.
Image: Shutterstock/TY Lim

GROCERY SALES HAVE grown by the fastest rate in 15 years since the start of the coronavirus crisis, according to new figures. 

Figures released today by retail analyst Kantar shows that take-home grocery sales grew by 25.4% in the last 12 weeks – a rate of growth unseen in 15 years. 

Online grocery sales were 76% higher than a year ago, with 15% of Irish households receiving at least one delivery in the last 12 weeks. 

The research also found that alcohol sales grew by 93% over the four weeks to 17 May. 

“The jump in grocery sales over the most recent three-months in large part reflects the fact that it includes both the pre-lockdown surge in shopper spend and the eight weeks of stay-at-home advice from government, bringing almost all meals into the home,” said Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar. 

However, she warned that the overall picture for some supermarkets will be less positive “as these gains are offset by falling spend on on-the-go meals, drinks and snacks”. 

SuperValu

The fastest growing retailer was SuperValu, which also claimed the largest market share. Sales have grown by over 32% since this time last year, while Lidl also saw a growth of 30.5%. 

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Martin Kelleher, the Managing Director of SuperValu, thanked customers for supporting the business. 

“The sales increase has seen shoppers change their behaviour, with a shift from fresh food to other categories like baking and personal care,” he said.

“In terms of the baking category, sales of flour alone have risen 200% and we have also seen a rise in demand for related products such as toppings, mini marshmallows and core baking ingredients like raising agents, flavourings and food colourings.”

“We have seen soap sales soar by 400% and over the course of the past number of months our stores have sold enough toilet paper to go around the world eight times,” Kelleher added. 

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