Grocery spend falls despite the start of summer weather

Total grocery sales fell by -0.5% in the last four weeks, despite the start of warm summer weather at the end of last month and sporting events in the UK.

Shoppers also spent less per visit compared with the same period last year, according to the data released by Nielsen. Growth was ‘significantly’ impacted by strong sales during the period to 13 July last year, during which grocery spending surged to +4.5%, thanks to the hottest June in 20 years, and the rise in food and drink spend during the World Cup.

Whilst every major supermarket recorded loses for the 12 week period, ‘discount’ supermarkets Lidl, Aldi reported sales increase of 12.8% and 8.5% respectively.

Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s maintained the highest market share, combining for over half of the market, although they all saw declines in sales and share.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “Our latest data shows that some of the weakness in recent grocery spend is linked to the strong summer of 2018, where the warm weather peaked and consumer spirits were high on the events of the World Cup.

“This year, retailers have had to work harder to drive shoppers to spend, and the increase in press and TV advertising spend proves that retailers are looking at more creative ways to achieve this.”

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