Discounters Aldi and Lidl have been named the fastest growing retailers in the UK as grocery price inflation hit 4.3% in February – the highest rate on record.
Aside from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, February’s inflation rate is the steepest Kantar has recorded since September 2013. The market insight company revealed that take-home grocery sales dropped by 3.7% over the 12 weeks to 20 February 2022, despite remaining 8.4% higher than the same period pre-pandemic.
The research also found that discount retailers have benefitted from shoppers making more – and smaller – visits to stores.
As a result, Aldi and Lidl were named as the fastest growing retailers, with sales increasing by 3.3% for both. Aldi attracted an additional 1.3 million customers compared with the same period last year, while Lidl reported nearly an extra million.
“Apart from the start of the pandemic, when we saw grocers cut promotional deals to maintain availability, this is the fastest rate of inflation we’ve recorded since September 2013,” said Kantar head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt.
“Added to this, ongoing supply chain pressures and the potential impact of the conflict in Ukraine are set to continue pushing up prices paid by consumers.”
McKevitt added that supermarkets with a strong food-on-the-go offer will have enjoyed an added boost that is not reflected in the numbers as people “picked up sandwiches, snacks and drinks while out and about again”.
“With the formal end to Covid restrictions in England, more of us are now eating on the go, buying sandwiches, salads and snacks on our lunch breaks, and enjoying meals out with friends and family. That means we’re buying less food and drink to have at home,” he continued.
Tesco extended its run of market share gains, taking another 0.3%, with the Big 4 grocer now accounting for for 27.7% of the market.
Waitrose also rose to hold its share of the market flat at 5%, while Sainsbury’s market share is now 15.5%, Asda 14.6% and Morrisons 9.8%.