'Relatively sober Christmas' sees festive shopping reach record levels

Irish shoppers spent more than €1bn at supermarkets over the Christmas period for the first time ever.

'Relatively sober Christmas' sees festive shopping reach record levels

Irish shoppers spent more than €1bn at supermarkets over the Christmas period for the first time ever.

The latest figures from Kantar show sales were up 1.5% when compared with the same time in 2018.

Sales of alcohol dropped and the number of people buying turkey also fell.

Charlotte Scott, consumer insight director at Kantar, said: “The nation enjoyed a less traditional Christmas this year with many of the usual seasonal classics falling out of favour. The number of people buying turkey fell by 3% and the trimmings didn’t fare much better as sales of Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips and potatoes all declined.

"It was a similar story in the dessert aisles as the value of mince pies dropped by 13% and Christmas puddings by 10%. Ham resisted the trend, growing at 5% as shoppers paired it with their Christmas dinner.

It was a relatively sober Christmas, as sales of alcohol dropped by €10.5 million. Shoppers spent 5.3% less on beer and 2.2% less on wine.

"Only SuperValu and Dunnes bucked the trend, growing alcohol sales by 3.9% and 0.7% respectively. Soft drinks sales rose by 2.7% as shoppers turned to alternative, alcohol-free options."

Dunnes retained its position as Ireland’s largest retailer, with a market share of 23.6% in the latest 12 weeks, 1.2 percentage points higher than its average over the rest of the year.

SuperValu had a welcome Christmas boost and increased sales by 1.4% – slightly higher than it achieved in the same period last year.

Aldi was the strongest performing retailer over Christmas, with sales up 6.3%, while Lidl’s market share of 10.9% is its highest ever over the festive period.

However, Tesco’s growth was the slowest in the market at 0.1%, which saw it lose 0.3% of market share and fell to 22%.

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