Grocery price rises turn up heat on British consumers -Kantar research

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LONDON (Businesshala) – British grocery price inflation was 2.1% in the four weeks to October 31, its highest level since August 2020, market researcher Kantar said on Tuesday, adding to the pressure on household finances.

FILE PHOTO: A woman shop at a Sainsbury’s store in London, Britain December 3, 2015. Businesshala/Neil Hall

Last week the Bank of England confused broad market expectations of a hike in interest rates, but overall inflation is expected to rise to around 5%.

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Kantar said grocery prices are rising sharply in markets such as salty snacks, canned colas and crisps, while fresh bacon, vegetables and pet food have declined.

“Grocery … inflation hit its highest rate since August 2020, when retailers were still cutting promotions (during the pandemic) to keep stocks on shelves,” says Retail and Consumer Insights at Kantar Chief Fraser McKevitt said.

“As prices rise in certain categories, we can expect shoppers to continue to visit multiple supermarkets and shop to find the best deals,” he said.

McKevitt said families already visit an average of 3.3 supermarkets per month to find the best value for money.

Kantar said UK grocery sales fell 1.9% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to October 31, but were up 7.3% from 2019 before the pandemic’s impact on business.

Shopping habits are beginning to settle on a new baseline, with the general trend being larger, less frequent trips to the supermarket.

Kantar said households visited supermarkets an average of 15.7 times last month – a slight increase from 15.3 visits in the same period in 2020.

However, consumers are still making 40 million fewer trips per month than in 2019.

“At this rate of change, it will take three years to return to our old buying patterns,” McKevitt said.

Online grocery sales have also leveled off, accounting for 12.4% of the total grocery market for the second consecutive month.

Kantar said Britons are preparing for Christmas earlier this year, with 47 million families buying mince pies and 1.6 million Christmas puddings in October. Frozen poultry sales are also up 27% year-on-year in the latest four weeks.

Market leader Tesco suffered a broad market decline and was the only group to achieve year-over-year sales growth in 12 weeks.

Market Share and Sales Growth (%)

Change in % from 12 weeks to 12 weeks

October 31 2021 November 1 2020 Sale

Tesco 27.6 27.0 0.3

Sainsbury’s 15.2 15.3 -2.8

Asda 14.3 14.4 -2.3

Morrison 10.0 10.2 -4.3

Aldi 7.9 7.8 -0.4

Cooperative 6.3 6.4 -3.8

Lidl 6.2 6.1 0

Waitrose 5.0 5.1-2.7

Iceland 2.3 2.3 -3.9

Okado 1.7 1.7 -2.1

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Grant McCool

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