Irish shoppers are set to spend over €1 billion on their Christmas groceries

Irish shoppers are set to spend over €1 billion on groceries throughout December for the first time as competition gets even fiercer between grocery retailers over the Christmas period.
According to research from Kantar World Panel, Irish households spent €968.2 million last December in supermarkets, and “all the signs so far indicate that this year Irish households will break the €1 billion threshold for the first time”

Overall the grocery market grew by 2.9% in the 12 weeks to 2 December according to Kantar’s latest figures. Dunnes Stores remains the largest grocery retailer, with a market share of 22.4% after seeing sales growth of 3.4% for the period. SuperValu’s sales rose by 1.3% over the same 12 weeks, cementing it in second place with 21.7% share of the market. Tesco is in third place with a 21.6% market share and growth of 0.3%, However, discount retailers Aldi and Lidl saw the strongest growth of all for the second consecutive period, with sales up 7% and 4.1% respectfully. Aldi now has 11.6% of the market, with Lidl on 11.3%. Aldi UK & Ireland Chief Executive Giles Hurley said the retailer is “delighted to be the fastest growing retailer in Ireland for the third month in a row,” adding Aldi has “opened new stores in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Graiguenamanagh, Youghal, and Killaloe over the last month.”

Consumer Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel Douglas Faughnan said of the figures: “Promotions continue to play an important role among the traditional retailers as they try to attract new shoppers and encourage customers to spend more in store. “SuperValu has performed strongest here, with the average value of a trip to the retailer increasing by €1.56 to €24.20 this period. As preparations for Christmas accelerate during December that figure is only likely to rise. “However, Dunnes’ long-running voucher programme means shoppers spend significantly more on each trip there than at any other retailer. Dunnes’ average spend per trip of €42.60 is one of the main reasons the retailer has retained the number one spot this period.”

Grocery Retail

Shoppers spend €65m across the border as Christmas spending begins

With Brexit continuing to dominate the news and the impact of a hard border still unclear, the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel show the value of cross-border shopping is at its highest level for five years. €64.5 million was spent shoppers from the Republic of Ireland in the 12 months ending in November 2018.

Over the past year just over one in eight households from the Republic of Ireland made at least one trip north of the border to do a grocery shop. That equates to more than 207,000 shoppers” says Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“While these excursions account for a relatively small percentage of each family’s supermarket visits – on average, eight out of 270 annual trips – they spend substantially more shopping when they cross the border. Shoppers from the Republic spent €38.50 on an average shop in Northern Ireland while the average spend back home is €23.70. This is likely to be because they want to make the extra effort worthwhile.”

One of the biggest attractions for shoppers looking for a cross-border bargain is alcohol. Douglas Faughnan explains: “Of the €65 million spent by Republic of Ireland shoppers in Northern Ireland over the past year, a quarter went on alcohol, adding up to just over €16 million. No other food or drink category comes close, with dairy products accounting for the next largest share of cross-border spend, at 5.9%.”

The strength of the euro against sterling over the past two years has made cross-border shopping even more appealing, but there have been benefits for those spending in the Republic as well. Douglas Faughnan explains: “The cost of importing products to Ireland from Britain has fallen while goods made in Ireland with British ingredients have typically been cheaper to produce. This has allowed retailers to pass savings on to their customers – vital in such a competitive market – and as a result, grocery prices in Ireland have for the most part been falling since March 2017.”

“However, for only the second time in 21 months, grocery prices have increased, suggesting the prolonged period of grocery price deflation may be coming to an end.”

Halloween provided €30m boo-st

The four week run up to Halloween generated an uplift of almost €30 million for supermarkets. Supplies for parties and trick or treating were in high demand with confectionery sales up 4% compared with the same period last year. 17% of Irish households bought a pumpkin this Halloween, spending a collective €1.5 million on the seasonal vegetable.

Faughnan says: “With Halloween wrapped up and the arrival of the much-anticipated Christmas TV adverts this week, Irish shoppers are already getting excited for the festive season. In fact, more than 50,000 people had already bought a Christmas pudding by the 4th November.

Sun, sports and Love Island boost supermarket sales

All major Irish supermarkets experience growth for the sixth period in a row according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The grocery market continues to be intensely competitive with just 1.5 percentage points separating the top three retailers. Tesco is the fastest growing retailer, a title it holds for the seventh consecutive period, with sales up 4.8% compared to this time last year. Tesco is the only one of the three major retailers to witness a further decline in the average price paid per item, but this has been counteracted by shoppers spending more. Customers spent an average of an extra €21 during the 12 weeks ending 12 August, through both visiting the supermarket more often and buying more items each time.

SuperValu continues to perform strongly with sales up by 2.4% and a market share of 22%, thanks in part to owner Musgraves prominent SuperValu of the GAA All-Ireland Hurling and Football Championships. The brand also performed well outside of its Munster stronghold seeing sales in Dublin up by 3.6% and the rest of Leinster growing by 6.2%.

Dunnes Stores’ saw overall growth of 1.9% during the period, thanks in part to the retailer’s ‘Mix and Match’ promotion on their barbeque meat range which was advertised in the lead up to the August Bank Holiday and boosted sales of chilled burgers and grills by a third.

The discounters also saw good growth with seeing sales growth of 2.9%. Aldi were also the only retailer to see a notable increase in shoppers, welcoming an extra 40,000 customer during the 12 weeks. Lidl achieved sales growth of 1.9% to hold market share at 11.9%.

Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “Though the retailers continue to jostle for market share, the grocers have all benefited from the spike in consumer spending as shoppers’ splash out more during the warm weather.

“It’s been a summer of indulgence for customers. Alcohol is continuing to boom – overall sales of beer, wine and cider are up 10%. Ice cream is also up by a third compared to this time last year – equivalent to an extra €10 million – and soft drinks sales have jumped by 13%. The August bank holiday provided the retailers with another opportunity to cash in, with targeted advertisements and promotional activity directing customers towards specific categories such as fresh meat, fruit and vegetables and branded treats.”

Sporting events like the football World Cup and pop culture TV favourites such as Love Island have also had an impact on what shoppers are choosing to buy. Douglas Faughnan explains: “Men’s skincare products and shaving soaps grew at double the rate of the overall grocery market, while sales of razor blades rocketed by 15% as Love Island enthusiasts were potentially inspired by the contestants’ hairless look. Time spent in front of the TV meant shoppers spent less time on home cooking, to the benefit of frozen and chilled ready meals sales, which jumped by 16% and 6% respectively.”

BBQ sales see Tesco soar to 1st place in grocery wars

Tesco have captured 22.5% of grocery retail market share thanks to their emphasis on their BBQ and chilled meat ranges during the recent heatwave.

Tesco were also the only retailer to increase their market share during the 12 weeks ending 15 July 2018. The supermarket brand’s extensive ‘Grillin’ and Chillin’ marketing campaign saw it make a big push on key barbecue items, with products like ice cream, chilled poultry and chilled burgers all performing strongly and resulting in shoppers putting, on average, 4.7% more items in their baskets on each trip.

SuperValu achieved overall sales growth of 2.6%, they’re biggest jump since October 2016. The retailer traditionally performs well in summer categories as its store network is convenient for shoppers making more frequent top-up shops during the key barbecue season. This year has been no exception, with chilled burgers, fresh fish, and fresh lamb all recording double-digit sales growth.

Dunnes Stores now accounts for 21.2% of grocery sales in Ireland, thanks to sales growth of 1.9% this period. The average Dunnes basket now features 20 items, a 5.7% increase compared to the previous 12 weeks and more than any other retailer.

Meanwhile, Lidl and Aldi have 11.9% and 11.5% market share respectively, with both posting sales growth in the most recent 12 weeks. Aldi was the only retailer to see a slight rise in shopper numbers this period, with the impact of its current Swap & Save campaign potentially contributing to increased shopper penetration.

Across the market, the recent rising temperatures and the World Cup saw sales soar by 3.1% with two of the biggest winners being lager and bottled water. Water sales rose by 27.3% while lager sales saw growth of 11.6% or the equivalent of an additional 7 million pints. This was as a result of both increased shopper numbers and shoppers buying larger quantities.

There’s a number of factors contributing to the spike in water sales according to Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel “A number of things may have influenced the surge of bottled water sales in Ireland – in particular the recent weather, speculation surrounding water shortages and this month’s hosepipe ban. Irish shoppers bought bottled water on 1.8 million more occasions in the latest 12 weeks compared to the same period last year, helping sales grow by over a quarter. Furthermore a Europe-wide shortage of CO2 may have stifled sales of carbonated water, which grew at a third of the rate of still water, with retailers and manufacturers shifting their focus to stills where necessary.”

Dunnes stay top of growing grocery market as shoppers spend extra €96m

Dunnes remain top of growing grocery market as Irish shoppers grocery spend increased by €96 million compared to the same period last year.

The Irish grocery market continues to show positive momentum with the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel, showing growth hit 3.9%. Dave Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Shoppers have spent an additional €96 million on groceries over the latest 12 weeks compared to last year and two factors have led to this growth. “First, shoppers are choosing to buy slightly more expensive items and this is reflected in continued sales growth for brands. Second, customers have picked up more items during their weekly shop, with the cost of the average trip 60c more than this time last year.”

Dunnes Stores remain in the top spot, despite growth falling slightly compared to the previous period, from 5.7% to 5%. Tesco sits in second place but top the charts in terms of growth in the three month period ending 25th February. Berry said: “Tesco tops the charts in terms of growth this month, with sales increasing by almost 7% and market share hitting 22.3%. This time last year the retailer was facing a number of store closures due to strike activity and its most recent performance is reflective of this. The strongest performance for Tesco has been among younger shoppers, with share among the young family demographic increasing from 26.5% last year to 29.3% this year.”

SuperValu sits in third position with market share of 22.0% placing it just 0.3 percentage points behind Tesco. SuperValu continues to build performance outside of its traditional base – with the areas are young families, where market share has increased by almost 2%, and Dublin, where sales have increased by 3.5% performing particularly strong for the retailer. Lidl is the second strongest growing retailer, with an uplift in sales of 5.9%. An increase in shopper loyalty is behind this, with shoppers returning to the store more frequently – resulting in an extra 780,000 trips for Lidl this period compared with last year.

Having previously reported a decline in sales, Aldi’s performance returned to form. Sales have increased by 1.3% and market share stands at 10.6% – just 0.2 percentage points behind Lidl.

Dunnes still on top as shoppers spend on brands and veggie options

 

The battle of the supermarkets remains as tight as ever as all major supermarkets experiencing sales growth over the last twelve weeks. Only 1% separates the top three, with Dunnes in the top spot with 23.2% of the market.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, Dunnes have successfully counteracted lower footfall with higher spending from its existing customers. This comes as shoppers are shopping around less but rather remaining loyal to a brand and spending more in one place. Dunnes are followed by Tesco on 22.7% and a sales increase of 4.8% and SuperValu is in third with 22.2%, with sales growth of 2.1%. Dublin yielded the strongest results for the retailer, with the supermarket managing to increase its market share in a region where it was traditionally underrepresented. Lidl and Aldi are on 10.5% and 10.3%, respectively, and Iceland, while also holds just 0.6% of the market is making gains in their frozen offering, helped in the main by new store openings. The chain which recently opened its 20th Irish branch increased its share of frozen food sales from 4.3% to 6.0% year on year.

According to the latest figures, which deal with the 12 weeks ending 28 January show continued growth for Irish supermarkets, with the growth of branded goods outpacing own brand labels for the first time in four years. Alcohol, baked goods, frozen food and toiletries were the best performers. Kantar Worldpanel’s David Berry saying the sales equated to nearly €50 million extra for retailers. “The recovery of branded sales began in late 2017 and has continued apace in the new year. Sales of brands are up 4% year on year as shoppers parted with an additional €49 million on their favourites during the past 12 weeks.

Consumers’ New Year health kicks were plain to see with spinach, berries and avocados continuing to prove popular. Shoppers’ are also showing an increasing interest in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles with sales of vegetarian options surge by 18%, translating as one in five shoppers picking up a vegetarian product.

Dunnes retain top spot as record amount spent on Christmas grocery shop

Irish shoppers spent a record €90 million on their grocery shop at Christmas with the average household spending a record €1,532, an increase of €38 on the previous year.

David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “Much of this increase has been driven by staple items, with fruit, vegetables, meat and poultry posting a combined sales increase of €28m. “Shoppers were also partial to a Christmas tipple with sales of alcohol up almost 6% – a boost of €13 million. Wine was the drink of choice this year with white wine and red wine sales up an impressive 10% and 12% respectively.”

Dunnes Stores retained the top spot during this busy period with a 23% share of the market according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel as customers remain loyal to the store, with perks such as the ‘Shop and Save’ campaign encouraging customers to add extra items to their shopping baskets. SuperValu saw sales growth of 2%, encouraging customers to spend an extra 70 cents every time they shop. which brought its market share to 22.4%.

Tesco also performed strongly and saw its highest sales growth since February 2011 – an increase of 5.8%- bringing its market share to 22.8% according to the figures, which cover the 12 weeks ending 31 December. Historically shoppers have chosen to trade up over the Christmas period however Lidl seems to have broken the trend this year in their favour.The retailer enjoyed a positive performance over the Christmas period, with market share rising to 10.4% thanks to sales growth of 4.8%. Aldi’s sales rose by 0.9% but this was below the overall market level and led to a slight dip in market share to 10.3%.

The trend towards online shopping is showing no signs of slowing down. David Berry explains: “Online grocers experienced impressive sales growth of 24%, which boosted their share of the market to a record 2.3% over the Christmas period. Although grocery e-commerce shoppers haven’t increased in number, customers who already shop online have upped the frequency of their purchases with, on average, one extra order placed over this period.”

Irish households to spend average of €2,654 in the lead up to Christmas

Irish households are expected to spend an average of €2,654 in the run-up to Christmas, according to Retail Ireland, the retail representative body.

This figure is €870 more than any other month this year as Irish shoppers are expected to take advantage of rising wages and falling prices to spend significantly more in the coming weeks. The Ibec group predicts an increase in total sales of more than €100 million and as a whole, we’re expected to spend around €4.5 billion over the Christmas period, a figure up from the €4.4 billion spent in 2016.

A combination of lower prices and higher disposable income should see consumers more willing to spend. According to the report, the prices of goods have fallen by 2.2% in the first 10 months of 2017 and by 8.4% in the last three years. The pattern of lower prices is set to continue as consumers avail of discounts arising from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.While prices are falling, spending power is increasing as gross disposable income has climbed by 5.4% in the first half of 2017, following growth of more than 4% in 2016.

For supermarkets and department stores, it expects the week beginning 18 December to be a “make or break” week, with Christmas Day falling on a Monday. Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland, said department stores were expecting Christmas to be “a bit of a nail-biter this year” with last-minute shopping expected well into the final week.For 2017 the major trends centre around personalisation, fragrance, champagne and chocolates. For men, the focus will be on trainers, expensive branded and limited editions at mid-price, and for women, luxury accessories and niche fragrance remain firm favourites.

TVs, tablets and video game systems were key to driving sales for many retailers over Black Friday and Cyber Monday and significant demand for these products is expected continue right up until December 25th. While discounting and promotions were used to generate sales over the Black Friday weekend, there will be a renewed emphasis on margin retention on the run-up to Christmas.

Grocery Market Shares: Irish consumers spend €3 million on Easter eggs as Supervalu retain top spot

Irish consumers made the most of their Easter break this year, buying nearly 100,000 chocolate eggs in recent weeks and increasing their spend on the Easter treats by over €3million this year compared to 2016.

According to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, which cover the 12 week period up to April 23rd , shoppers were more than willing to spend heavily on traditional seasonal favourites such as Easter eggs, hot cross buns and fresh lamb. Supermarket sales were boosted by the growing popularity of some seasonal favourites with the Kantar figurers revealing sales of hot cross buns jumping by 24% increase buns, a 9% increase in the sale of Easter eggs and fresh lamb sales increasing by 10%.

This boost comes during a time of deflation within the grocery industry with the cost of groceries has fallen slightly in recent months although few consumers are likely to notice much benefit from a 0.3% price decline.

In terms of the ongoing fierce battle for number one supermarket, SuperValu have remained in top spot with 22.8% of the market, which is up 1.8% compared to this time last year.SuperValu was also the only one of the country’s top five grocers’ to have attracted more shoppers within the period with an additional 8,000 customers visiting the supermarket in the past 12 weeks compared to the same period the year before.

Dunnes Stores remained in second place but posted the strongest growth in sales out of all the major retailers. The retailer’s sales increased by an impressive 5.1% since last year. This growth has been caused in part by shoppers adding more to their baskets, with an average spend of just under €40, almost €17 higher than the average for the grocery market.Tesco saw sales fall by 0.6% meaning the chain now occupies 21.6%of the market. Lidl remains slightly on top with a market share of 11.3% while Aldi commands 11%.

New research shows Irish consumers frustrated by in-store retail technology

 

Research by Fujitsu Ireland found that consumers expect more from their experience using technology in retail stores and many shoppers feel the in-store technology in Irish stores is either ‘quite often poor’ or ‘very poor’. Common complaints about the tech experience available include it being too slow (45%), unreliable (32%) and immobile (14%).

The research found that many shoppers say that they make use of in-store technology including digital enquiry points, stock-monitoring applications and mobile tablets, every time they shop (24%) and three in ten(29%) were less than impressed with the experience. Fifty per cent of Irish shoppers point to the ability to browse and buy in person as their primary reason for visiting a physical store. Following this, a quarter (27%) of shoppers mainly hit the high street for “in-store shopping experience”.

Close to a third (31%) of Irish shoppers believe that staff are not adequately trained on the technology they are expected to use. This statistic is in stark contrast to another section of the report in which a massive 91% of retail staff feel fully confident using the technology provided.

Despite this, the report highlights the potential for technology to enhance the instore experience of both consumers and staff. Half of consumers (49%) within the study stated that the available technology serves to speed up the service they receive. A third (34%) cite the ability to access additional product information as a bonus, while personalised offers and vouchers (25%) are also a draw for customers.

Well over half of shoppers within the study say that both the quality of in-store technology directly affects their loyalty to a particular retailer (59%) and that they have proactively chosen to buy an item from one store over another because they knew they would enjoy a better technology experience (57%). Interestingly (76%), say that a positive technology experience would increase the likelihood of them purchasing additional items.