Irish consumers spent a record €2.8bn on groceries in the 12 weeks to late March, €250m more than the same period last year, while the price of goods rose by 1.4%.
The average household spent an additional €122 on groceries during the four weeks to March 22, according to market research company, Kantar Worldpanel, as shoppers bought more due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Over the past month, we have faced profound changes to our daily lives, as a result of the need for social-distancing, impacting the way we work, shop, and socialise,” said Kantar managing director, David Berry.
Dunnes still leads the grocery market, with a 22.3% share; followed by SuperValu and Tesco, both on 21.3%.
All three saw their sales increase by 10% in the 12 weeks.
However, Lidl was the fastest-growing of the grocery retailers. Its sales grew 14.7% and it increased its market share to 12.3%.
Aldi matched Lidl’s market share and grew sales by 11.9%.
“The products demonstrating the strongest growth show a country putting health, hygiene, and practicality first. Sales of hand soap rose by 300% and household cleaners were up by 170%...Facial tissues and loo roll were also in demand, with sales up by 140% and 86%, respectively,” said Mr Berry.
“Looking at our food choices, items with a longer shelf life saw the biggest uplift, as sales of frozen and ambient foods — meaning those that can be stored at room temperature — increased by 32%.
"By comparison, demand for fresh food has been more modest, growing by 16% over the last four weeks.
"While we’d expect sales to remain strong in the coming weeks and months, there will likely be a rebalancing of sales of fresh and non-perishable items,” he said.
One-in-ten households bought supplies online, which is also a high.