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    £218m royal sales bump as grocery inflation falls for second month

    Like-for-like grocery price inflation has fallen for the second month in a row and now sits at 17.2 per cent for the four weeks to 14 May 2023, according to the latest data from Kantar, but this is still the third fastest rate Kantar has recorded since 2008.

    Take-home grocery sales rose by 10.8 per cent over the month in comparison with the same period last year.

    “The drop in grocery price inflation, which is down by 0.1 percentage points on last month’s figure, is without doubt welcome news for shoppers but it is still incredibly high – 17.2 per cent is the third fastest rate of grocery inflation we’ve seen since 2008,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, comments.

    “This could add an extra £833 to the average household’s annual grocery bill if consumers don’t shop in different ways.”

    McKevitt noted that shoppers however skirting higher prices by choosing more own-label goods.

    “These lines grew by 15.2 per cent this month, almost double that of branded products which rose by 8.3 per cent.” he said. “However, the gap between own lines and brands is narrowing in most stores, helped in some cases by loyalty discounts.”

    In the closely watched dairy aisle, the average cost of four pints of milk has come down by 8 pence since last month, though prices are still 30 pence higher than this time last year.

    Despite price pressures, people took the opportunity to make the most of the additional bank holiday this month with celebrations for the King’s coronation.  An extra £218 million was spent on groceries during the week of the coronation, with sales of wine and Coronation Quiche ingredients soaring.

    McKevitt explained: “Grocery sales soared by 16 per cent during the week of the coronation, adding up to an extra £218 million passing through the tills.  Shoppers filled up their glasses, with sparkling and still wine especially popular.  Sales of these products climbed by 129 per cent and 33 per cent respectively, driven by demand not price rises with wine inflation only at 1 per cent.”

    The nation showed its enthusiasm for a festive dish with the official Coronation Quiche proving to be a big hit.

    “Lots of people seem to have got into the spirit of the royal occasion, grabbing their chance to have a go at the official coronation recipe. Sales of ingredients like chilled pastry surged by 89 per cent, while fresh cream sales jumped by 80 per cent and frozen broad beans by 57 per cent,” McKevitt added.

    Waitrose benefited from a substantial uplift in the week of the coronation, with sales up by 4.8 per cent over the 12 weeks, the highest rate of growth the retailer has achieved since April 2021.  Its market share is now 4.6 per cent.  Meanwhile, Aldi was the fastest growing grocer this month, with sales up by 24.0 per cent.  Lidl’s sales increased by 23.2 per cent. The two discounters now account for 17.8 per cent of the market, with Aldi’s share at 10.1 per cent and Lidl at 7.7 per cent.

    Asda grew by 10.6 per cent and its market share now stands at 13.9 per cent, a rise of 0.1 percentage points when compared to the same 12 weeks last year.  Morrisons took an 8.7 per cent share this period.

    Sales increased by 8.9 per cent for Britain’s largest supermarket, Tesco, with growth across its convenience stores, large format supermarket and online channels. It now holds 27.1 per cent of the market. Sainsbury’s sales rose by 10.5 per cent and it held market share steady at 14.8 per cent.  Convenience specialist Co-op nudged up its sales by 2.9 per cent, Iceland by 9.1 per cent and online only retailer Ocado by 5.6 per cent.

    Symbols and independents saw much subdued growth of 1.2 per cent.

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