Shoppers who spent €2.43bn at the grocery tills after Storm Emma and on early shopping for Easter boosted the fortunes of Tesco, helping the supermarket close a large part of the sales gap with its two big rivals, Dunnes and SuperValu, writes Eamon Quinn.
According to Kantar Worldpanel Ireland, Dunnes and SuperValu tied in first place each, taking a 22.1% share of the €2.43bn spent at the grocery tills in the 12 weeks to March 25, and just held off a resurgent Tesco, which posted a market share of 21.9%.
Spending was up by €88m, or 3.8%, from the same period a year earlier as shoppers restocked after the storm and spent a lot more on Easter eggs than in 2017, the market research firm said.
In fourth place with a share of 11.5%, Lidl was ahead of its direct rival Aldi on 11.3%. However, the combined shares of the German discounters would secure their place as the largest grocery outlet in the Republic, in the latest period.
The market researcher tracks the spending on 30,000 grocery items and compares volumes and overall spends.
Irish grocery spending has been boosted by the surge in the value of the euro against sterling which has helped to keep a lid on the prices of the many grocery items supplied directly across the Irish Sea from Britain. The latest figures suggest no let up in the trend.
According to Kantar, grocery items in the Republic were 0.4% cheaper this year than in 2017.
The Kantar figures show that the grocery market is dominated by the big five supermarkets. Between them, they accounted for 89% of all the spend on grocery items.