Grocery prices stay high despite price cut in small number of staples

New figures from Kantar put grocery price inflation at 16.5%, just 0.1% lower than last month

The cost of a basket of groceries is 16.5 per cent higher than it was this time last year, with new figures suggesting that price cuts of some staples across major supermarkets have made little difference when it comes to spiralling prices.

Since the start of this month, the five leading supermarkets in the State have reduced the price of their own-brand 2-litre containers of milk, 454g packs of butter and 800g sliced pans by 10 cent, 40 cent and 10 cent respectively. However, those moves have yet to make any impact when it comes to spiralling prices for consumers with the decreases likely to have been offset by rising prices in other areas.

Although the rate of inflation is down, according to the Kantar data, the fall is only fractional – just 0.1 per cent. That follows a similarly marginal fall of 0.2 per cent last month following two years of rising grocery prices for shoppers.

Fresh data from retail analysts Kantar covering the four weeks to May 14th shows that while the value of sales has climbed by more than 13 per cent, inflation was the real driving factor as opposed to any increased purchasing on the part of consumers.


Kantar’s senior retail analyst Emer Healy welcomed the “slight drop” in grocery price inflation but pointed out that a rate of 16.5 is “the third fastest rate of grocery inflation we’ve seen since 2008″.

She said that, in response to the high level of inflation, consumers have continued to change their shopping patterns “to offset part of the increased cost”.

As it stands, the market is seeing much stronger own-label growth – currently on 16.3 per cent, almost double the 8.2 per cent rate for branded groceries as “shoppers are looking for ways to save money”, Ms Healy said.

Within the private label categories, the value own-label products saw the strongest growth year-on-year, up 32.3 per cent with shoppers spending €17.5 million more on the cheapest ranges.

“May marks the first time that we see branded and own label on equal terms when it comes to market share, with each holding a 47.3 per cent share of the market,” Ms Healy said, “a sign that the hunt for the best value in the market continues.”

Shoppers visited stores more often during the month of May making an additional two trips compared to the same time last year.

“Irish consumers welcomed warmer days in May and, as a result, the barbecue season has officially started,” Ms Healy said. “Shoppers spent an additional €6.6 million on beer and lager, €722,000 on chilled burgers and grills and €516,000 on fresh sausages over the four weeks.”

Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Lidl experienced value growth ahead of the total market in May.

Dunnes holds the highest market share on 23.1 per cent, with growth of 15.8 per cent. Tesco holds 22.4 per cent of the market, with 14.5 per cent growth year on year, while SuperValu is in third on 20.6 per cent and growth of 5.8 per cent. Lidl hit a record new share of 13.6 per cent, with growth of 15.8 per cent, while Aldi was on 12.1 per cent with year-on-year growth of 11.3 per cent.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast