Data: FMCG sales rises as discounters lag behind

New figures reveal that British shoppers spent 6.2% more on fast-moving consumer foods (FMCGs) in the first quarter of this year.

Data from retail analyst NIQ showed that retail spend in the FMCG category hit £50.2bn, driven by a 6.8% increase in fresh and perishable foods.

It attributed these results to slowing food inflation, which dropped to 3.7% in March, allowing shoppers to add more items in their basket and prompting the first positive volume growth since 2021.

The figures also show that private-label FMCG growth continued to outpace branded growth and 23.4% of all spend in the first quarter 2024 was sold on promotion.


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Despite this, the data showed that there was a slowdown in growth for the discounters in the first 12 weeks of 2024 as they annualise last year’s high growth figures. For the first time since 2021, data shows that discounters’ value growth for the first quarter (+4.5%) has lagged behind traditional grocery retailers (+7.1%).

NIQ retail services director for UK and Ireland Ben Morrison said: “It’s clear that there’s been a steady uplift in sales for FMCG, particularly as inflation continues to slow. The prospect for the rest of the year is cautiously optimistic.

“We see the reduction in inflation continuing to help fuel shopper sentiment. Consumers are still cautious around their spending – particularly on larger, more expensive goods – and this continues to impact T&D.”

Morrison added: “As the weather, hopefully, improves and we move into an eventful summer that is driven by sporting events such as the Euros and Olympics, we’re optimistic that this will further drive levels of discretionary FMCG and Tech & Durables sales.”

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