The recent spell of good weather has given supermarket sales a boost amid “benign trading conditions”, according to new data from Nielsen.

In the four weeks to 17 April, value sales across the major mults stood at less than 3%, with volumes subdued at 0.7%.

However, the week ending 17 April outshone the preceding three weeks, with sales up 10% year-on-year as good weather upped the frequency of shoppers’ visits.

“Sales of fresh foods and seasonal general merchandise also improved,” said Mike Watkins, senior manager of retailer services at Nielsen.

“If we have a good bank holiday weekend, then the end of April could be the long-awaited turning point.”

Waitrose and Morrisons comfortably outpaced the market over the past quarter, with sales up 11.5% and 7.1% respectively. Growth was even more rapid in the past month, up by 12.4% and 8.1%.

“Waitrose will have benefited from consumers trading up for Easter but sustained double digit growth is testament to the retailer’s continuing success,” Watkins added. “The new ad campaign with Delia and Heston Blumenthal has been perfectly timed to coincide with the good spring weather.”

Tesco also grew ahead of the market, up 3.9% for the quarter.

“The heavy emphasis Tesco is placing on Clubcard and associated deals has helped the retailer regain ground,” Watkins said.