By Eamon Quinn
Tesco leapfrogged SuperValu to take the largest slice of the €2.44bn Irish shoppers spent on groceries in the last 12 weeks, as the British giant built market share by selling its own brand groceries in volume, the latest industry survey showed.
With 22.3% of the market, it was the first time in over three years that Tesco secured the largest share of the grocery market in the Republic following a growth spurt that may be a declaration of intent to its rivals amid rapid change in its home market.
The Kantar Worldpanel Ireland survey showed SuperValu slipped to second place with a 22% share after its growth failed to keep pace with that of the market as a whole in the 12 weeks to May 20.
Dunnes remained in third place, but with a market share of 21.8%, has significantly narrowed the lead of SuperValu.
The amount spent on groceries in the period came to over €2.44bn. That’s up 2.8% from the more than €2.37bn spent in the same period a year earlier even as the price of the 30,000 grocery items scanned by Kantar Ireland fell 0.6% in the year.
That suggests consumers are spending more on their groceries in an expanding market.
Despite the introduction of the sugar tax, Kantar Ireland said there was a surge in the sale of carbonated drinks.
However, it appears the good weather has boosted volume sales, and many shoppers told Kantar they knew about the tax and considered its introduction “important”.
Lidl and Aldi both posted market-beating gains, with respective shares of 11.4% and 11.3% in the latest 12 weeks.
If combined, their shares would make the German discounters the largest grocery retailer in the Republic.
Referring to the market leader, “a strategic emphasis on volume sales, particularly through its private label offering, has been key to Tesco becoming Ireland’s biggest grocer once again”, said Kantar Worldpanel’s Douglas Faughnan.
In its home market, Tesco has been bolstered by its acquisition of Booker, and is preparing for a rapid change amid the plan by Sainsbury to buy rival Asda for €8.3bn, to become the largest grocer in Britain.