Irish consumers increased their spend on Easter eggs by more than €3 million in recent weeks, and put almost 100,000 more of the seasonal treats into their shopping trollies this year than in 2016, new data from a leading grocery analyst suggests.
According to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, the cost of groceries has fallen slightly in recent months, although few consumers are likely to notice much benefit from a 0.3 per cent price decline .
While convincing shoppers to splash out across multiple categories remains challenging for retailers, when it came to hot cross buns, Easter eggs and fresh lamb, shoppers appeared willing to splurge, with sales in these three areas increasing sharply when compared with last year.
The market share figures, covering the 12 weeks to April 23rd, are a clear case of “as you were”, with SuperValu remaining in top spot with 22.8 per cent of the market, up 1.8 per cent on the same period in 2016.
Of the top five major grocers, SuperValu was the only one to have attracted more shoppers through its doors, with an additional 8,000 customers visiting the supermarket in the past 12 weeks compared to the same period the year before.
Despite remaining in second place, Dunnes Stores posted the strongest growth of all the major retailers, with sales increasing by an impressive 5.1 per cent since last year. This is partially down to consumers adding more to their baskets, with its shoppers spending just under €40 per trip – almost €17 higher than the average for the grocery market.
Tesco saw sales fall by 0.6 per cent, and now has 21.6 per cent of the market.
In the battle of the discounters, Lidl remains slightly on top with a market share of 11.3 per cent, while Aldi commands 11 per cent of the market.
"In recent years we have seen a definite shift away from promotional deals towards more consistent, lower prices on everyday items," said David Berry, the director at Kantar Worldpanel.
“Just over a quarter of all goods are now bought on promotion – down from 33 per cent in 2014. With the rate of deflation in the grocery market falling even further, we expect to see this trend stick around.”
Supermarket sales were boosted by the growing popularity of some seasonal favourites, with the Kantar figurers revealing a 24 per cent increase in the sale of hot cross buns, a 9 per cent increase in the sale of Easter eggs and fresh lamb sales up 10 per cent.
“Capitalising on the indulgence of Easter, retailers have added more premium options in an attempt to convince customers to put something a little more expensive into their baskets,” Mr Berry said.
“Fancier options saw the average price of Easter eggs rise 8 cent to €3.05. With three-quarters of the population treating themselves to at least one, this meant a €3 million boost to the market.”