Irish grocery prices fell as supermarket sales declined with the reopening of the economy, a leading survey suggests.
The latest report from market researcher Kantar showed prices of a basket of 30,000 grocery items it tracks fell 0.8% in the latest 12 weeks, as overall sales of over €2.8bn was down almost 6% from the same period a year ago.
Irish online supermarket sales were also down for a second month as shoppers had more ways to spend their money in the good weather as outdoor dining reopened.
Nonetheless, supermarket sales are still a long way from settling back to pre-pandemic levels, the figures suggest.
The overall level of grocery sales is almost 16% above the comparable period two years ago, according to Kantar, with the dominant big five supermarket chains performing particularly well in terms of sales growth.
“With the vaccine rollout continuing and more restrictions lifting, we’re seeing a shift in one of the biggest trends of the pandemic in the online grocery market," said analyst Emer Healy.
"This trend is most pronounced in urban areas where shoppers have more options to pop to local shops — online sales dropped a much bigger 24% in Dublin this month," she said.
The five largest supermarket chains between them control 90% of the grocery market spend of households in the Republic, with the other 10% shared out between outlets that include M&S, Boots, Spar, Centra, independent greengrocers and butchers, as well as cross border shops, according to the Kantar survey.
At 22.3%, SuperValu again secured the largest share of the overall €2.8bn spent in the latest 12 weeks of the survey, ahead of Tesco and Dunnes which posted shares of 21.2% and 21.1% respectively; Lidl and Aldi secured shares of 13.1% and 12.5% respectively.