‘Grocery decline softens as shoppers stock up for staycations’ – Kantar

‘Grocery decline softens as shoppers stock up for staycations’ – Kantar
The latest figures from Kantar show the grocery market declined by 3.9% during the 12 weeks to 8 August 2021, as life continued to edge back to normal in Ireland and indoor dining in restaurants, pubs and cafés returned for people who are double vaccinated.

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, comments: “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.  Irish shoppers still spent a massive €333.2 million more on take-home groceries than during this same period in 2019.  That represents double-digit growth of 13.4% in two years.”


In the most recent four weeks, take-home grocery sales decreased by 0.9% year on year.  Emer Healy comments: “People are enjoying getting out and about again – meeting up with friends and returning to their favourite restaurants – and that means they don’t need to buy as much food to eat at home.  Some of the best-selling categories during the Covid-19 lockdowns are now seeing the biggest sales drops.  Sales of tea and coffee both fell by 8% as people have gradually got back to offices and can enjoy taking a break in coffee shops once again.

“However, the impact of the reopening of hospitality has been balanced slightly by a boom in staycations this summer.  Instead of jetting overseas, many families have been packing up the car and heading to holiday rentals closer home.  While the overall market is in decline, shoppers spent €7.7 million more on soft drinks, €664,000 more on savoury snacks, and €579,000 extra on chilled burgers and grilling meats as they made the most of the summer holidays and the August Bank Holiday.”


Online grocery sales dropped by 0.7% during the past 12 weeks.  Emer Healy comments: “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.  Shoppers spent €917,000 less online, while their basket sizes went down by 4.4% this period.  People are buying less but it’s worth noting that the number of people making an online order has actually held steady at 14% compared with last year.  It looks like customers who were converted to digital in lockdown have enjoyed the convenience and service they’ve received and are sticking with it longer term.”

SuperValu leads

SuperValu once again captured the largest share of the grocery market this period at 22.6%. Customers visiting 5.8% more often contributed an additional €37 million to the grocer’s sales.  SuperValu shoppers made 21.1 trips on average in the latest 12 weeks which was the highest frequency amongst all retailers.

Elsewhere, Tesco, Dunnes, Aldi and Lidl all welcomed new shoppers this period.  Emer Healy comments: “During lockdown, shoppers returned to making big weekly shops and became increasingly loyal to one supermarket to feed their families.  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.”

Total Take Home Grocery – Consumer Spend 12 weeks to 09 Aug 2020 12 weeks to 08 Aug 2021 Change (year on year) Change (vs 2 years ago)*
% % % %
Total Outlets 100.0% 100.0% -3.9% 13.4%
Total Multiples 89.3% 90.5% -2.7% 15.0%
SuperValu 22.3% 22.6% -2.9% 20.0%
Tesco 21.1% 21.3% -2.9% 12.1%
Dunnes 20.5% 20.9% -1.8% 9.7%
Lidl 12.8% 13.0% -1.8% 22.8%
Aldi 12.6% 12.6% -4.2% 13.5%
Other Outlets** 10.7% 9.5% -14.5% -0.2%
* This is provided to give further context to the year-on-year growth figures, which are now comparing against the accelerated take-home sales recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
**Includes stores such as M&S, Boots, Spar, Centra, Greengrocers, Butchers and Cross Border shops
An update on inflation

Grocery market inflation stands at 0%* for the 12-week period ending 08 August 2021.

*This figure is based on over 30,000 identical products compared year on year in the proportions purchased by Irish shoppers and therefore represents the most authoritative figure currently available.  It is a ‘pure’ inflation measure in that shopping behaviour is held constant between the two comparison periods – shoppers are likely to achieve a lower personal inflation rate if they trade down or seek out more offers.

These findings are based on Worldpanel FMCG data for the 12 weeks to 08 August 2021.  Kantar monitors the household grocery purchasing habits of 5,000 demographically representative households in the Republic of Ireland.  All data discussed in the above announcement is based on the value of items being bought by these consumers.

Grocery market share numbers do not include food or drink sales consumed out of the home, for example snacks and meals while travelling or at work. During COVID-19 lockdowns, such out-of-home sales through supermarkets reduced substantially, meaning Kantar’s reported take-home sales trends may be higher than the combined trend. The effect is greatest for retailers with a previously higher proportion of out-of-home sales.

Retailer growth figures reported by Kantar relate to overall take home sales, and so include the impact of store openings or closures.  Like-for-like sales change is not measured or reported.  Calculating like-for-like sales requires a detailed knowledge of store openings and extensions which is information held accurately only by individual retailers.

Kantar will only support data that is published in the context we have presented it and our own interpretation of these findings. We cannot be held responsible for any other interpretation of these findings.