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Supermarkets surf food inflation wave to grow sales - Kantar/Neilsen data shows

By Oliver Haill

Date: Tuesday 14 Nov 2017

Supermarkets surf food inflation wave to grow sales - Kantar/Neilsen data shows

(ShareCast News) - Food price inflation breaking through to a four-year high has helped supermarket sales in recent weeks, with Sainsbury's and Tesco both enjoying a strong period of growth, according to surveys released on Tuesday.
UK supermarket sales increased in value by 3.2% year on year in the 12 weeks to 5 November, Kantar Worldpanel said, with like-for-like grocery inflation hitting 3.4%.

Sainsbury's grew sales by 2.6%, attracting an additional 364,000 shoppers to become the fastest growing among the big four for the first time since April, Kantar said, though its market share shrank by one basis point to 16.2%.

More than three quarters of British households shopped at Tesco during the past 12 weeks, showing the scale of the company as its takeover was passed through unchallenged by the Competition & Markets Authority on Tuesday. Tesco grew sales 2.3% but its market share dipped to 28.0% from 28.2% last year.

Morrisons lifted sales 2.1% as its market share slipped to 10.4% from 10.5%.

A rival survey from Nielsen for the 12 weeks to 4 November found Tesco increased sales by 2.7% year-on-year, noticeably ahead of the 2.1% for Sainsbury's, 1.8% for Morrisons, and 1.7% for Asda.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen's UK head of retailer and business insight, said: "[Tesco] continued to attract new shoppers over the summer, who visited more often, giving a further boost to growth in the last month. At the same time, like all the supermarkets, they've had to tread a fine line around holding back at passing on cost price increases to compete with the discounters."

Kantar counted 10.1m packs of traditional Christmas biscuits bought in October alone, with alcohol sales increasing 5.3% year on year, with Britain expected to shell out £28.7bn at supermarkets in the final 12 weeks of 2017.

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