Almost one in eight consumers did their big December shop in Aldi or Lidl, new figures show, as the overall grocery market dipped by 0.2 per cent over the festive period.
However, while the discounters experienced strong sales, high-end supermarkets Waitrose and Sainsbury’s – the latter driven by its heavily marketed Christmas Taste the Difference range – also outperformed the overall market.
Groceries were overall 1.8 per cent cheaper over the Christmas period compared to last time, according to the report from analyst Kantar Worldpanel, as supermarkets cut prices amid an ongoing battle for market share.
The amount spent on a typical Christmas dinner fell even faster – by 2.2 per cent – mainly due to cheaper poultry and traditional vegetable trimmings. Lidl was the fastest growing retailer in the 12 weeks to 3 January, with sales up by 18.5 per cent. An expanded product range, especially in its Deluxe premium line, encouraged consumers to increase the size of their shop, the report said, with average basket sizes up by 7 per cent to £17.20. Aldi followed with an increase in sales of 13.3 per cent. Once again, Sainsbury’s was the best performing of the traditional supermarkets, attracting an additional 114,000 shoppers and increasing sales by 0.8 per cent on the Christmas before.
Tesco, however, saw sales fall by 2.7 per cent, but the study said an investment in its “festive five” fruit and vegetable promotions meant it was an improvement on last month. The retailer’s fell to 28.3 per cent, with Asda and Morrisons also declining to 16.2 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.
Waitrose, however, benefited from shoppers trading up at Christmas, growing sales by 1.5 per cent and taking share back up to 5.2 per cent.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “The discounters are continuing to establish themselves in the minds of British consumers – almost one in eight did their single biggest December shop in Aldi or Lidl, on top of the 15.6 million households who visited in the 12 weeks.
“That is an increase of nearly one million shoppers on 2014, and their combined share is up from 8.3 per cent to 9.7 per cent. Despite Aldi and Lidl’s success, consumers are still spending most in more traditional supermarkets, particularly in December, and total discounter share has dipped from the 10 per cent achieved just before Christmas.”