Shoppers turn to discounters to help them cope with the rising cost of living

Supermarket sales fell by 5.9% over the 12 weeks to 17 April 2022, according to new figures from Kantar.

For the first time since the pandemic began, sales are also in decline by 0.6% compared with two years ago.

Kantar’s figures reveal the level of products bought on promotion, currently at 27.3%, has decreased 2.7 percentage points as everyday low-price strategies come to the fore.

The data shows that Aldi is the fastest-growing retailer this period. The grocer’s sales increased by 4.2% over the 12 weeks to 17 April, followed closely by Lidl which was up 4%. Over one million extra shoppers visited Aldi and Lidl, respectively, over the past 12 weeks compared with this time last year.

Online grocery sales were down by almost 15% compared with 2021 and, over April, online’s share dipped by 1.5 percentage points.

Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight, Worldpanel Division, said: “While online shopping is definitely here to stay, it’s less of a necessity now. Shopper confidence about heading out and about and getting back to store has gone up and half a million fewer households bought over the internet compared with last year.”

In addition, the figures reveal the war in Ukraine has increased public awareness of supply pressures and there was evidence of some stocking up as consumers prepared for limited availability along with higher prices. The increased demand saw the cooking oil market grow by 17% over April. Sunflower oil and vegetable oil grew even faster, up by 27% and 40%, respectively.

The data also shows sales over the latest four weeks fell by 4.1% as people returned to the office, as well as restaurants and pubs, and the average basket size dropped by 4.5% to £22.39.