Soaring food price inflation drove a bumper increase in Christmas sales for supermarkets as they won back share from the discounters, Kantar has revealed.

Take-home grocery sales hit a record £12.8bn in the four weeks to 25 December – a £1.1bn rise compared with the same period in 2021, according to figures from Kantar released this week.

This jump was wholly driven by pricing. Volumes were down 1% year on year as grocery price inflation came in at 14.4% in December.

Four-week till roll market share figures seen by The Grocer showed discounters Aldi and Lidl were the fastest-growing players in the run-up to Christmas, with sales up 28.4% and 24.5% respectively.

However, both were already growing at similar rates (27.5% and 24.1% respectively) in November, meaning the bumper additional pre-Christmas grocery sales were largely shared between the mults.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons all delivered growth of more than 15% compared with their November till roll totals, while Aldi and Lidl saw more modest month-on-month upticks of 5.8% and 3.8%.

In particular, the four-week data shows strong performance from the market’s two largest players: Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Tesco’s year-on-year sales were up 8.4% on an annual basis and Sainsbury’s was up 8.5%. Notably, both saw sales growth in their main superstores ahead of this overall rate.

Asda was up 7% in the period, while Morrisons remained down 0.8%. It was the only retailer to see a sales decline, though this represented a marked improvement from double-digit annual declines in early 2022.

The additional Christmas sales at the mults saw Tesco and Sainsbury’s post their highest market share figures since Christmas 2021, of 27.8% and 15.8% respectively. Aldi’s December share eased to 8.6% from 9.4% in November – temporarily behind Morrisons – and Lidl’s to 6.8% from 7.6%.

Meanwhile, online regained share during the period, with sales up 4% year on year. Ocado saw annual growth of 20.4% in December, having marginally declined in November.

However, there was a slight decline in online’s share versus Christmas 2021, down by 0.6 percentage points to 11.6%.

Inflation put pressure on online basket sizes with the average cost of a virtual basket now sitting at £93.06.

Overall though, consumers continued to trade down to deal with higher prices as supermarket own label sales increased 13.3%, well ahead of a 4.7% increase in branded lines.

“The British supermarket sector is more competitive than ever and the grocers are keen to retain customers by offering their own festive alternatives,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.

“This has included an emphasis on premium own-label products, giving consumers a way to treat themselves this Christmas.”

Sales of premium own label rose by 10.2% this Christmas to hit more than £700m for the first time, with Tesco’s Finest range remained the single largest premium own label line by some distance.

Over the longer 12-week period leading to Christmas Asda led the mults, with sales up by 6.4%, closely followed by Sainsbury’s and Tesco which achieved sales growth of 6.2% and 6.0% respectively. Despite sales falling by 2.9%, Morrisons had its best performance since June 2021.

Aldi remained the fastest-growing grocer with 27% growth taking its market share up from 7.7% this time last year to 9.1% over the longer period. Lidl’s sales increased by 23.9%, moving its market share up by 0.9 percentage points to 7.2%.