Food price trend continues its 18-month decline

Food prices in the UK have now fallen every month since September 2014, cutting the average consumer spend by more than £400 a year, according to the latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

Covering the 12 weeks ending April 24, the figures show all the major supermarkets posting a decline in their rate of growth, prompting Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt, to describe the last two years as a “golden period of cheaper groceries” for consumers.

“Nearly two years of falling prices mean the average household is spending £78.10 a week in the supermarket, so consumers have annually saved more than £400 than if prices had risen at the same rate as the last decade,” he said.

While the overall market has grown in volume by 1% in the reported period, this is only in line with Britain’s increased population. In terms of individual households, in fact, consumers have stopped increasing the amount of groceries they buy.

As for the various supermarket groups, the Kantar figures make the most satisfying reading for the Cooperative whose sales grew by 3.3% year-on-year, lifting market share to 6.2%. The Coop is, of course, a 100% supporter of British-sourced fresh pork.

Waitrose, which is a 100% stockist of British-sourced pork and bacon, also gained market share during the 12-week period, rising by 0.1% to a market share of 5.2%.

It was a different picture for the biggest retailers, however. Sainsbury’s was the best performer, even though sales fell back by 0.4%. Morrisons, meanwhile, is still “feeling the impact of having less store space than last year” with sales down by 2.6%; Tesco is down by 1.3% and Asda fell by 5.1%.

“The discounters have maintained their record share high of 10.4% which they first reached last month,” added Mr McKevitt (pictured above).

“Lidl was the fastest growing, with sales up by 15.4% as shopper numbers increased by 648,000, while Aldi sales were up by 12.5%, as the discounter added an additional 732,000 shoppers in the last 12 weeks. This is more than any other retailer.”

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