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    Grocery sales, in-store visits show improving trend: NIQ

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    British grocery sales on a volume basis showed an improving trend heading into October, suggesting shoppers are starting to reset their spending, industry data showed today (17).

    According to market researcher NIQ, formerly NielsenIQ, total till sales at UK supermarkets have seen sustained growth (+9.1 per cent) in the last four weeks ending Oct 7.

    Data from NIQ also reveals that visits to stores were only up +1.6 per cent as the back to school period led shoppers to return to their usual shopping patterns. Warm weather towards the end of September and early October have also seen some seasonal categories achieve an uplift in sales. NIQ data shows that shoppers are purchasing more fruit, vegetables and salads with the category seeing volume sales increase (+3.6 per cent). In particular, there was a boost to unit sales for raspberries (+35 per cent), strawberries (+33 per cent), and vine tomatoes (+20 per cent).

    However, some categories continue to feel the effects of inflation with confectionery value sales of (+12 per cent) followed by frozen (+9.1 per cent) and crisps and snacks (+9.0 per cent). Beer, Wine and Spirits sales (+2.2 per cent) continue to have the lowest FMCG growth in the last four week period. However, there was an uptick in sales for beer and cider (+8.8 per cent) and in particular stout (+19.2 per cent), which was likely due to consumers purchasing ahead of celebrating and watching the Rugby World Cup.

    Mike Watkins, NIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said, “Our latest data indicates that the online grocery channel is back into sustainable growth, with sales up 7.3 per cent over 12 weeks. Ocado has grown market share of the online channel helped by increased marketing activity and the investment in price matching against Tesco including promotions and Clubcard prices. These seems to be resonating well with shoppers.”

    “There has been an improvement in volumes purchased over the last four weeks. This is a reflection that this time last year the pressure was growing on household incomes as inflation was accelerating in fuel, energy, and food. But it may also be an indication that some shoppers are now feeling more confident about their personal finances. If so, this would help sustain growth over the forthcoming half term period and may give a further boost in early November as seasonal advertising campaigns start,” Watkins concluded.

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