Tesco’s market share has slid to a new seven-year low in the latest rankings from Kantar Worldpanel.

The UK’s largest supermarket claimed 29.7% of the market in the 12 weeks to 19 February – down from 30.3% a year ago and its lowest level since May 2005.

Last month’s Kantar figures had Tesco with 29.9% of the market, marking the first time in seven years its share had slipped below 30%.

Elsewhere, Morrisons also lost share compared to a year ago, down from 12.3% to 12.2%, while Sainsbury’s share edged up slightly over the period to 16.6%.

“Tesco’s market share remains under pressure and now stands at 29.7% − a level we last saw in May 2005 – as it faces stiff competition from its rivals,” said Kantar’s Edward Garner. “By contrast, the completion of its Netto conversions helped Asda retain its record share of 17.5% that we reported last month.”

Waitrose, meanwhile, grew its share to a record 4.5%.

“Waitrose’s continuing strong performance shows it is a mistake to talk about the ‘average’ UK shopper,” said Garner. “Some consumers clearly value good service and in-store experience when shopping, which Waitrose claims to provide. The retailer has also benefitted from increasing numbers of shoppers, as its store expansion makes its shops accessible to more people.” 

The market as a whole grew by 4.5% – still below 5.5% rate of grocery inflation cited by Kantar.

“While the growth rate remains lower than grocery price inflation, the gap between the two measures is narrowing, meaning pressure on household budgets, while still strong, is not getting any worse,” Garner added.