Shoppers spent an additional €113.56 per buyer in the 12 weeks to February 19 compared with the same time last year, new figures from Kantar show today.
The increase comes as grocery price inflation hit a new record high of 16.4% in the latest 12 week period, up from a rate of 2.4% the same time last year.
Kantar said that in a year of rising costs and sky-high inflation, consumers are looking for ways to manage their household budgets.
This has led to the Irish grocery market becoming more competitive than ever, with shoppers looking for the best deals among the retailers.
Today’s figures show that take-home grocery sales growth more than doubled in the four weeks to February 19.
Value sales increased by 10.2%, compared to 5% in January with that record-breaking inflation the real driver behind this rather than more consumption.
While the average price per pack soared 13.4% in February, Kantar said that consumers are coping with the increased cost of living by shopping little and often. Volume per trip was down 10.9%, while frequency was up 7%.
Kantar said the market is seeing much stronger own label growth (11.9%) compared to brands (6.1%) as shoppers look for ways to save money.
Own label value share has also risen from 42.6% in 2021 to 45% in 2023.
Value own label lines – the very cheapest products – saw the strongest growth year-on-year, up 35.8% with shoppers spending €19m more on these ranges.
Meanwhile, online sales remained strong over the last 12 weeks, up 5.2% year-on-year with shoppers spending an additional €8m online. Nearly 18% of Irish households purchasing online.
Shoppers have also been navigating shortages in the fruit and vegetable aisles over recent weeks.
“Consumers spent €2.3m more on vegetables year-on-year, however volumes declined by 9.5%. Volumes of cucumbers and tomatoes fell significantly by 17.2% and 8.9% respectively year-on-year, with these two products most impacted by shortages,” Kantar’s Senior Retail Analyst Emer Healy said.
She said that for Valentine’s Day, shoppers spent an additional €1.2m on wine, €1.5m on chilled desserts and €3.8m on chilled ready meals.
Chocolate was also a winner, with shoppers spending an additional €326,000 on gifting chocolate, she noted.
“While Easter has already hit the shops, Irish consumers are yet to stock up on Easter Eggs with sales of seasonal chocolate down 29% year on year,” she added.
Meanwhile, Shrove Tuesday also saw shoppers indulging in pancakes, with sales of flour, eggs, butter and chocolate spread up 11.9%, 29.6%, 19.5% and 55.5% respectively.
Today’s figures today also show that Dunnes holds the highest share amongst all retailers at 23.6% with growth of 12.3% year-on-year.
Tesco is in second place, with the latest data showing shopper footfall for Tesco at its highest level since January 2020.
79.9% of households visited a Tesco store at least once, with the highest increase seen in Connacht/Ulster – home to the recently acquired chain of former Joyce’s supermarkets.
SuperValu has 20.8% of the market and growth of 2.9% – the strongest level for the retailer since April 2021. SuperValu shoppers make the most trips in store compared to all retailers, with 20.8 trips on average, up 10.5% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, Lidl has 12.6% share and growth of 10.9% year on year. An influx of new shoppers and more frequent trips contributed to an additional €21.2m to its overall performance.
Aldi has 11.7% and growth of 8.8% year-on-year. A strong boost in new shoppers and more frequent trips has contributed an additional €31.2m to overall performance, Kantar said.