Supermarket price rises are set to reach a peak at the end of this year, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
Kantar confirmed like-for-like grocery inflation remained at 3.2% for the 12 weeks to 8 October, but added consumers could be welcoming a slowdown in price rises in the new year, with the rate projected to fall below 2% in the first quarter of 2018.
Supermarket sales increased in value by 3.1% compared with last year, marking the 17th period of growth in a row for Britain’s grocers, Kantar added.
However, each of the big four grocers saw a decrease in market share despite a growth in sales as smaller operators continue to entice new customers through their doors.
Aldi and Lidl collectively added £390m to their sales this period – that’s half of the entire market’s overall growth in the 12 weeks.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Morrisons was the fastest growing of the large supermarkets this period, increasing sales by 2.8%. The biggest wins came from ambient and fresh food products with cakes and pastries and fruit both up by 10%. Growing sales at Morrisons’ bricks and mortar stores were supplemented by rapid expansion on its e-commerce platform, particularly in London and the south where online sales have risen 29%. Despite the growth, however, the retailer’s overall market share fell by 0.1 percentage points to 10.3%.”
Closely following Morrisons, the remaining big four have each continued to increase sales every month since April. At Tesco, sales grew by 2.1% though share was down 0.3 percentage points to 27.9%.
Asda meanwhile has sustained its recent recovery, with sales up 1.8% in the past 12 weeks.
McKevitt added: “Despite traditionally selling a higher proportion of brands than its major rivals it is own-label sales which are driving the growth at Asda. They now account for 45% of sales, with Asda’s value-focused Farm Stores line and premium Extra Special range leading the charge.”
Recent stories about the poultry supply chain have not materially dented chicken sales, Kantar said. Fresh poultry sales remained flat in the month of September, while chilled processed poultry has increased in value by 6%.