Irish consumers spent €7.7 million on soft drinks, €664,000 on snacks and €579,000 on chilled burgers and meats in August as they stocked up for staycations.
The latest figures from retail group Kantar show that supermarket sales overall declined by 3.9 per cent over the 12 weeks to August 8th as life continued to edge back to normal and indoor dinning resumed.
The reopening of hospitality, however, coincided with boom in staycations, Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, said.
“Instead of jetting overseas, many families have been packing up the car and heading to holiday rentals closer home,” she said.
As a result sales of soft drinks, snacks and grilled meats rose.
"Grocery market growth dipped slightly this month, but it's important to put that in perspective and remember that we are comparing sales against the peak of Covid-19 restrictions last year," Ms Healy said.
Irish shoppers still spent €333.2 million more on take-home groceries than during the same period in 2019, an increase of 13.4 per cent on two years ago, she said.
The figures show online grocery sales dropped by 0.7 per cent during the past 12 weeks. “Online shopping has been one of the most effective barometers of consumer confidence throughout the pandemic – when online orders decline, it shows that people are growing more comfortable to venture to physical shops and eat out again,” Ms Healy said.
Shoppers spent €917,000 less online, while their basket sizes went down by 4.4 per cent.
SuperValu once again captured the largest share of the grocery market during the period with a 22.6 per cent market share with customers visiting 5.8 per cent more often adding €37 million to the grocer’s sales.
In terms of overall market share, SuperValu was followed by Tesco (21.3 per cent), Dunnes (20.9 per cent), Lidl (13 per cent) and Aldi (12.6 per cent) .
“During lockdown, shoppers returned to making big weekly shops and became increasingly loyal to one supermarket to feed their families,” Ms Healy said.
“ Now that everything is opening up again, they are happier to mix it up and pop into different shops and Tesco, Dunnes, Aldi and Lidl all saw new faces in store this period as a result,” she said.