Grocery sales have risen again with higher prices and early Christmas shopping helping the sector chalk up its 17th consecutive quarter of growth.
Food sales rose 3.1 per cent in the 12 weeks to October 8, boosted in part by ongoing inflation. Grocery prices were 3.2 per cent higher during quarter, with UK inflation expected to hit 3 per cent in figures released later today, the Telegraph reports.
All of the ‘big four’ grocers – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda – recorded sales growth during the period, continuing a strong run that started in April, according data from Kantar Worldpanel.
But all four suffered a small decline in market share, as fast-growing discount retailers Aldi and Lidl continued to make up ground.
Aldi and Lidl together added an additional £390m in sales during the quarter, accounting for half of the entire market’s overall growth in the 12 weeks, Kantar said.
Of the big chains, only the Co-op recorded a sales fall, with turnover slipping 2.5 per cent during the period.
Kantar also reported that shoppers were stocking up for Christmas early. In the last four week, sales of chocolate boxes hit £69m, mince pies racked up £4m in sales, the shoppers spent £1.1m on Christmas puddings.