Inflation in the grocery sector has jumped sharply over the last three months with prices climbing by 2.6 per cent since late last year compared to a slight decline over the same period 12 months earlier, according to new figures.
Tesco is now close to slipping in to third place behind Dunnes Stores in the Irish supermarket league with just 0.1 per cent separating the two retailers according to the latest share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland.
SuperValu has solidified its position on the top of the pile after it increased its sales by 3.7 per cent which takes its market share to 25 per cent.
The recent run of success from Dunnes appears to have continued with year-on-year sales 7 per cent higher than last year - an increase of almost €3 million per week across the quarter. It now has a total market share of 24.1 per cent.
Tesco remains in second place with 24.2 per cent of the Republic’s grocery spend up 0.6 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Lidl’s double digit growth continues and it has improved its market share by half a percentage point to 8.1 per cent. Aldi’s growth over the last quarter was more modest but is still impressive and it too has a total market share of 8.1 per cent.
The latest figures covering the 12 weeks ending on February 28th show that the strong start to 2016 has continued across the supermarket sector with spending up by 3.6 per cent.
It is the third successive period where growth has been above 3 per cent for the Irish grocery market.
"Over the past twelve months we have seen a gradual increase in the level of price inflation, increasing from slight deflation of -0.1 per cent in March 2015 to inflation of 2.6 per cent in the past 12 weeks," said David Berry, the director at Kantar Worldpanel. "Interestingly shoppers don't seem deterred by rising prices, increasing their spending well ahead of the rate of inflation."
Fish and fruit boost
He said the data showed that the Irish public “may be sticking to their new year’s resolutions, with healthy foods performing well ahead of the market”.
Sales of fresh fish increased by 13 per cent in the past 12 weeks while fruit saw an 11 per cent boost and sales of nuts have increased by 17 per cent compared with last year.