By Geoff Percival
Consumers spent more than €2.4bn on groceries during the 12 weeks to the middle of July, almost 3% higher than during the same period last year, new figures show.
Drink sales surged during the 12 weeks to July 15, latest market data from consumer insights agency Kantar Worldpanel show, with the combination of the hot weather, water shortages and the World Cup boosting sales of bottled water and beer by over 27% and nearly 12%.
“A number of things may have influenced the surge of bottled water sales in Ireland, in particular the recent weather, speculation surrounding water shortages and this month’s hosepipe ban,” said Kantar’s Douglas Faughnan.
"Irish shoppers bought bottled water on 1.8 million more occasions in the latest 12-week period compared to the same period last year, helping sales grow by over a quarter.
Tesco retained its position as leading grocer with a 6.2% increase in over-the-counter sales.
It was the only supermarket to increase its market share, also, with it now accounting for 22.5% of the market.
While Tesco has stretched its lead, its nearest competitor SuperValu increased sales by 2.6% in the latest period, which equated to its strongest performance since October 2016, and maintained a 21.9% market share.
Dunnes now accounts for 21.2% of the market, thanks to sales growth of 1.9% in the period.
The average Dunnes customer’s shopping basket now features 20 items; a 5.7% increase compared to the previous 12-week period and more than any other retailer.
Lidl and Aldi now account for 11.9% and 11.5% of the market.
They saw sales rise of 1.9% and 2.5% in the 12 weeks, and Aldi was the only retailer to see a slight rise in shopper numbers, largely boosted by its ‘swap and save’ promotion.
Sales in what Kantar classes as ‘other outlets’ — covering the likes of Spar, Centra, Marks and Spencer, Boots, independent greengrocers and butchers, and cross-border shops — jumped 2.6% in the period with those shops accounting for 11% of the market.
Kantar also noted that grocery market inflation stood at -0.5% in the latest 12-week review period.