The latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland revealed that SuperValu regained top spot as the largest supermarket over Dunnes Stores, increasing its market share to 22.8%, nudging its rival out by the slightest of margins, which was at 22.7%.
The two Irish giants were level at the beginning of December at 22.5% each.
Despite being edged into second place, Dunnes continued to perform well with Christmas sales almost 5% higher than in 2015.
The average spend per trip in Dunnes reached a new high of €41.60, significantly ahead of any other retailer.
SuperValu has now held top spot for 10 out of the past 12 periods measured by Kantar, which measured 12 weeks up to January 1. Grocery inflation was largely unchanged from last month.
Tesco continued to improve its performance, with sales growing by 1.3% over the final quarter to stay on the heels of both SuperValu and Dunnes at 22.4%.
Aldi posted the strongest growth of all the retailers, with sales up by 5.3% over the Christmas period.
Lidl also recorded positive results in the period, with festive sales 2.3% higher than in 2015.
Aldi Ireland group buying director Finbar McCarthy was bullish about the German chain’s chances of increasing its share of the market again in 2017.
He said: “This was Aldi Ireland’s busiest Christmas ever. We attracted 37,000 new customers in December 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.”
He added: “We sold over three million mince pies, 200,000 bags of chocolate coins, 170,000 Irish steaks, 70,000 litres of Prosecco, 60,000 kilograms of Christmas pudding, 30,000 Irish lamb legs and 6,500 litres of Champagne during this period.”
The average household spent €193 for Christmas Day shopping, which was €35 more than last year, Kantar said. December 23 was the busiest day of the year for retailers, it added. Shoppers spent an additional €92m over Christmas, which was almost 4% more than last year.
David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “After a turbulent 2016, shoppers really chose to treat themselves this Christmas.
"Always popular over the festive period, biscuits and chocolates did even better than usual. Irish families spent 9% more on seasonal confectionery than last year, with alcohol experiencing double-digit growth.
"This was partially down to more multi-buy promotions in stores tempting shoppers to up their spend.”