Consumers returning to brands as economy improves

Data also suggests shoppers are more interested in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles

New data from retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel suggests that shoppers are now less inclined to shop around.

New data from retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel suggests that shoppers are now less inclined to shop around.

a
 

In a sign that Irish consumers could be returning to their pre-crash spendthrift ways, sales of branded goods climbed by 4 per cent over the past 12 months, the first time in four years that brands have posted stronger sales growth than their own-label counterparts.

Other trends noted in new data from retail analyst Kantar Worldpanel, suggest that shoppers are now less inclined to shop around and are more interested in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.

Sales of vegetarian options surged by 18 per cent with one in five shoppers picking up a vegetarian product over the past 12 weeks, the data indicates.

There was good news for Dunnes in the never-ending store wars as it hung on to pole position, capturing 23.2 per cent of shoppers’ grocery spending, marginally ahead of Tesco in the silver medal position.

“The recovery of branded sales began in late 2017 and has continued apace in the new year,” said David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“Shoppers parted with an additional €49 million on their favourites during the past 12 weeks. This is the first time in four years that brands have posted stronger sales growth than their own-label counterparts, with alcohol, baked goods, frozen food and toiletries performing best.”

Aspirational shopping

As the new year dawned aspirational shopping was to the fore with sales of spinach, berries and avocados booming. Sales were up by 46 per cent, 19 per cent and 6 per cent respectively year-on-year.

Winter also brought its fair share of sniffles: sales of cough sweets and liquids increased by 9.5 per cent and vitamin supplements saw a 14 per cent increase year on year as shoppers tried to bolster their immune systems.

Among the big retailers, Dunnes remains on top of the heap capturing 23.2 per cent of shoppers’ grocery spending. Sales growth for it has remained strong, with Dunnes posting an increase of 5.7 per cent compared with this time last year.

“Loyalty continues to define Irish grocery, with shoppers now less likely to shop around and committed to spending more with their retailer of choice,” Mr Berry said.

“Dunnes has capitalised on this trend, successfully counteracting lower footfall with higher spending from its existing customers.”

In second place lies Tesco with a 22.7 per cent share of the market and a comparable sales increase of 4.8 per cent. This is the tenth successive month that the retailer has enjoyed sales growth, boosting market share by 0.3 percentage points year-on-year.

The performance for SuperValu remains consistent, with sales growth of 2.1 per cent. Dublin yielded the strongest results for the retailer, with the supermarket managing to increase its market share in a region where it was traditionally under-represented. It is now in third place with a market share of 22.2 per cent.

Lidl continues to enjoy a strong performance, with sales growth of 4.6 per cent boosting market share to 10.5 per cent. Aldi has seen a slight dip in sales, with market share now standing at 10.3 per cent.

a