Supermarkets sold almost €11.2bn in groceries last year, up by €310m from 2018, as the ‘big five’ grocers maintained their grip over the market.
The figures come from market researcher Kantar which also reported that shoppers spent over €1bn in December and more than €2.7bn in the 12 weeks to the end of the year.
Prices over the 12 weeks for the 30,000 grocery items tracked by Kantar rose by an annual 1%.
However, the latest survey which covers the key Christmas trading period showed that sales of alcoholic drinks fell, while fewer people opted to buy turkeys and traditional vegetables, including Brussel sprouts and parsnips, and also bought fewer puddings and mince pies too.
Dunnes secured the largest share, at 23.6%, of the €2.7bn shoppers spent in supermarkets in the 12 weeks.
Tesco remained the second-largest supermarket, with a share of 22%, although its growth was the slowest of the big five shops. At 21.8%, SuperValu had the third- largest share of the spend over the 12 weeks period.
Both the German-owned supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl were the fastest growing.
Aldi ended with a share of 11.3% of the spend and Lidl had a share of 10.9%.
Together, the top five supermarkets secured a commanding 89.5% of the €2.7bn spent on groceries.
Subdued inflation may have helped boost sales at the tills over Christmas.
Many of the items sold in the supermarket aisles are brought in directly from across the Irish Sea and prices can be set by the strength or weakness of sterling against the euro.
Charlotte Scott, Kantar’s consumer insight director, said shoppers spent less on alcohol and bought more soft beverages instead.
“It was a relatively sober Christmas, as sales of alcohol dropped by €10.5m. Shoppers spent 5.3% less on beer and 2.2% less on wine. Only SuperValu and Dunnes bucked the trend, increasing alcohol sales by 3.9% and 0.7% respectively,” she said.