One in ten shoppers ‘stockpiling food to prepare for no deal Brexit’

Supermarket sales have grown, despite Brexit uncertainty.  Photo : Yui Mok/PA Wire
Supermarket sales have grown, despite Brexit uncertainty. Photo : Yui Mok/PA Wire
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One in ten shoppers claim to have started stockpiling food to prepare for a no deal Brexit, according to Kantar Worldpanel

As Brexit uncertainty intensifies, the latest grocery market share figures, published today from Kantar Worldpanel, show year-on-year supermarket sales growth of 1.9 per cent during the 12 weeks to February 24 2019.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Despite one in ten shoppers saying they have started stockpiling groceries and a further 26 per cent reporting that they are considering doing so, this has not been borne out in sales just yet. Overall grocery volumes rose by 1.2 per cent in the 4 weeks to 24 February, no increase compared with recent months, and it’s worth noting that hard-to-stockpile fresh and chilled foods made up 39 per cent of the value of the average British shopping basket.”

Aldi was the only retailer to report double-digit growth during the past 12 weeks, increasing sales by 10.0 per cent. Mr McKevitt said Aldi had capitalised on the most romantic day of the year: “In the past there may have been a bit of a stigma about treating your loved one from a discounter – that just isn’t the case anymore. Planning for the perfect date night, 10 per cent of the population bought chocolate, wine, steak, shellfish or a chilled dessert from Aldi during the week of Valentine’s Day, helping it increase market share by 0.6 percentage points to 7.6 per cent.”

Co-op attracted an additional 244,000 shoppers through its doors to help boost sales by 3.6 per cent and increase its share of the total market to 5.9 per cent. Visitors to the convenience retailer spent £13 million more on fruit, vegetables and salads and £10 million more on both dairy products and soft drinks compared with the same time last year.

Asda and Sainsbury’s now have a potential combined market share of 31.2 per cent as they await the final CMA ruling on their proposed merger.

Mr McKevitt said: “Asda continued its run of uninterrupted growth since April 2017, increasing sales by 1.0 per cent. Own label lines at the supermarket continued to outperform brands and an increase in the number of online shopping trips helped boost growth overall.

“Sainsbury’s sales fell by 1.0 per cent, reducing its market share by 0.5 percentage points to 15.7 per cent. Despite this, its premium Taste the Difference range proved popular – sales rose 4 per cent and the products found their way into a quarter of all Sainsbury’s shopping baskets.”

Tesco, the country’s largest grocer, achieved growth of 1.3 per cent, helped by customers buying 2 per cent more items on each visit. Overall, Tesco’s market share fell by 0.2 percentage points to 27.7 per cent.

While Morrisons’ market share dropped slightly to 10.5 per cent, sales were up 0.8 per cent.

Mr McKevitt commented: “Morrisons sells 43 per cent of its goods on promotion – a higher proportion than any other supermarket. However, the gap is closing – the supermarket sold £45 million less through deals than the same period a year ago.”