Irish grocery inflation at 2.9% ‘highest since 2014’ as households spend more

Irish grocery inflation at 2.9% ‘highest since 2014’ as households spend more

The annual rate of grocery price inflation in Irish supermarkets accelerated to 2.9% in recent weeks, the highest since October 2014, according to a new survey.

The figures come from the regular survey by market researcher Kantar which polls over 30,000 grocery items bought by Irish households.

It also showed that the value of the spend in all supermarkets climbed in the year by 4.2% to €2.55bn in the latest survey period.

For almost three years, Irish grocery price inflation has been subdued when sterling slumped against the euro following the UK vote in the summer of 2016 to leave the EU.

That made the prices of the many grocery items Irish supermarkets import from across the Irish Sea much cheaper.

The Kantar figures may suggest the benign effects of a weak sterling for Irish grocery shoppers are ending, at a time when they are spending more.

The researcher said its measure of annual grocery market inflation of 2.9% for the 12 weeks to May 19 is based on identical products “and represents the most authoritative figure currently available”.

At 22.3%, the survey showed Dunnes took the largest share of the €2.55bn spend and pipped Tesco on 22.1%.

SuperValu had a share of 21.2% and was followed by Aldi which tapped a growth spurt to secure a 12.1% share, and Lidl on 11.5% of the market.

“The strength of Dunnes, Aldi and Lidl – retailers at opposite ends of the price spectrum – is a surprising quirk of the Irish grocery market,” said Douglas Faughnan at Kantar.

He said Dunnes had shown “little interest in going head-to-head with Aldi and Lidl on price” and competed instead in carving “out its position as Ireland’s premium food retailer”.

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