Three years on from losing the coveted position of number two supermarket by sales, Sainsbury's sales growth since January has been strong enough to help it overtake Asda and regain the second from the top spot.
With more people shopping at Sainsbury and ACNielsen's TradeTrak research showing a Total Till market share of 15.2% compared to Asda's 15.1% in the 12 weeks to March 25, 2006, the improvements to its business have obviously been recognised by shoppers.
But Sainsbury cannot afford to sit back as the news comes at a time when Asda is looking to leverage its brand on the high street through its new Asda Essentials format (see page 28). This is its so-called "discounter-plus" concept, positioned as cheapest in town and comprising 95% own label goods.
For all major supermarkets the declining frequency of main shopping is an underlying trend as consumers change the way in which they buy and consume food.
The increase in the number of visits to Sainsbury compared to last year is therefore an important turnaround for the store.
Mike Watkins, senior manager at ACNielsen, comments: "It will be interesting to see what happens over the Easter break, which is a period when Asda is expected to perform well."
He adds: "The recent price cuts at Asda and the aggressive campaigns will inevitably deliver a boost to Asda and whenever the consumer is reminded of low prices at another supermarket we see a shift of both shoppers and their spend in that direction."
Morrisons' market share has finally stabilised at 10.8%, Somerfield is holding share at 4% but Iceland has fallen back to a market share of just 1.7% following a relatively successful end to 2005.
Later in the year the battleground could move back to the high street. Somerfield is focusing on the remaining Kwik Save conversions and should expect sales growth from the earlier acquisitions.
Meanwhile the co-operative societies, which have more convenience stores than any similar retailer, are regaining momentum having increased market share in the last quarter.
Meeting the consumer need to use local, convenient food shops more frequently is relevant for all supermarkets.
But getting the basics right first is the route to success, as the recovery in Sainsbury's sales has shown.