Supermarket wars: Tesco closes gap on SuperValu

SuperValu has held on the largest market share in latest grocery market research

SuperValu continues to have the largest grocery market share in Ireland but its lead on UK retailer Tesco has dipped.

According to consumer insights company Kantar Worldpanel SuperValu has a market share of 22.3 per cent while its British counterpart Tesco has 22.1 per cent.

"SuperValu can't remain complacent. Second place retailer Tesco is growing ahead of the market, at 3.8 per cent, and has closed the gap in share between itself and SuperValu to just 0.2 percentage points", said Cora Campbell, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

Following closely in third place with a share of 21.6 per cent is Dunnes Stores which has seen a 4.5 per cent increase in the value of sales - the largest rise in this survey. This comes despite a drop in shopper numbers at the Irish retailer.


“Existing customers are shopping more often and spending an additional 10 per cent on average [at Dunnes Stores]”, Ms Campbell said.

Discount retailers Lidl and Aldi have seen their market share hold relatively steady as growth at the German companies accelerated. Lidl held a market share of 11.7 per cent and saw sales value rise by 3.3 per cent while Aldi's share was 11.2 per cent but its growth of 3.7 per cent was ahead of its rival.

It was a good period for private brands, or own brands, which witnessed sales growth of 4.2 per cent. They now account for 54 per cent of grocery spend - the highest since March of this year.

Indeed, the figures are positive for retailers on the whole as the volume of sales grew by 4.6 per cent as price deflation held steady at minus 0.2 per cent.

“The grocery sector grew by €80 million over the past 12 weeks - that’s a 3.5 per cent increase on the year before...shoppers are choosing to take advantage of this recent period of deflation by adding more items to their baskets per trip, driving the market’s overall growth”, Ms Campbell added.

Kantar monitors the household grocery purchasing habits of some 5,000 demographically representative households and produces its results based on that panel.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business