Discounters Hit Record Grocery Market Share

Aldi and Lidl now account for more than 12% of grocery sales in the UK, according to latest retail data from Nielsen.

During the twelve weeks ending 25 February 2017, Aldi’s sales grew 12% year-on-year, and Lidl’s 9.1%, while across the overall market sales increased 2.2%. Thus, Aldi and Lidl’s combined market share crossed 12% for the first time, to 12.3% or nearly £1 in every £8 spent on groceries.

“Whilst the retail landscape is very different to 25 years ago when Aldi entered the UK, discounter market share is higher than when Kwik Save was at its pomp as the original discounter,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight. “The difference today is that Aldi and Lidl aren’t solely associated with low-priced brands, having been very astute at promoting the quality and price of their private-label range to appeal to a wider array of shoppers.

“Aldi and Lidl’s momentum continues due to new stores opening and the average shopper spending more – testament to the wider and higher quality of products available.”

Aside from the discounters, Nielsen’s data showed that Iceland had the biggest rise in year-on-year sales (+5.6%) whilst Morrisons had the strongest rise among the big four supermarkets (+1.9%).

Across the supermarkets, for the most recent four weeks (ending 27 February), takings at the tills rose 1.1%, boosted by inflation returning to food retailing in February (+0.4%) – the first inflationary rise since April 2016.

Watkins noted that the return of inflation has two impacts on how people shop, “they’re more careful about how much they spend, which results in more promiscuity in both the number of stores they visit and how often they shop.”