Discounters advance as overall grocery sales slip

Aldi, Lidl, Marks & Spencer and Tesco topped the grocery table last month, bucking the 0.7 per cent dip across the market.

They were the only supermarkets to boost sales in the four weeks to October 9, with Lidl hitting double digits on 12.1 per cent growth.

Marks & Spencer gained 9.4 per cent market share, while Aldi and Tesco increased theirs by 8.9 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.

NielsenIQ data shows customers spent £11.8 billion on groceries, down £41 million since 2020, but up 6.6 per cent from pre-pandemic shopping two years ago.

READ MORE: Deliveroo masters ‘dark arts’ with new grocery venture

Even though people are buying online more often, their basket sizes are smaller, meaning online sales have fallen 0.3 per cent since last year.

Around a quarter of shoppers get groceries through the internet every four weeks.

Sales of fresh pizza (17 per cent), mineral water (17 per cent), freshly prepared salads (11 per cent) and cakes (10 per cent) all rose in the 12 weeks to October 9.

“This suggests a growing consumer trust in the quality and range of products that are available online,” analysts said.

Both online and in-person shopping have risen by around five per cent between September and October.

Looking ahead to the rest of the month, NielsenIQ head of retail Mike Watkins predicted that overall growth would continue to be marginally negative or positive.

He added: “Availability issues are still top of mind with shoppers, with news headlines questioning whether shelves will be stocked this Christmas. 

“Should some shoppers choose to forward purchase seasonal food and drink, for example purchasing one or two extra items on every visit, this may be enough to help keep growth positive.”

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