Lidl Now UK's Fastest Growing Supermarket For Fifth Consecutive Period

TOP NEWS: Price Rises Keep UK Supermarkets Buoyant As Christmas Begins

On Sainsbury's performance, Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said, "Brands were the fastest-selling products at Sainsbury's during the past 12 weeks - particularly in soft drinks and dairy - flying in the face of the market's focus on own-label lines".

Kantar said overall United Kingdom grocery sales increased in value by 3.2% year on year in the 12-week period.

"Prices have been rising since the 12 weeks to 1 January 2017, following a period of grocery price deflation which ran for 30 consecutive periods from September 2014 to December 2016", the market research firm said.

Most grocery products were more expensive, with prices rising fastest in categories such as butter, where a milk shortage has pushed up prices, fish and cola.

Despite the upbeat sales result, Sainsbury's saw its market share dip by 0.1 percentage points to 16.2 percent.

"Alcohol sales have ramped up too, increasing by 5.3% year-on-year as shoppers parted with an extra GBP142.00 million on their favourite tipples".

At Sainsbury's, sales rose 2.6 percent during the reported period, with Britain's second-biggest supermarket attracting an additional 364,000 shoppers to become the fastest growing among the UK's "Big Four" for the first time since April previous year.

Waitrose held market share steady year on year at 5.3 per cent, seeing sales growth across the board: from convenience stores, larger supermarkets and online.

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Kantar data said 76% of British households made a visit to Tesco during the past 12 weeks, whilst Asda had its eighth consecutive period of growth.

Iceland's market share fell in the period to 2.0%, with Waitrose holding steady at 5.3%, and almost 60% of United Kingdom households visited Co-op during the period.

Both Morrisons and Iceland also saw growth of 2.1 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, but both also saw a 0.1 per cent drop in market share. Morrison's share fell by one percentage point to 10.4%.

Sales on spirits may be soaring, but McKevitt said we're garuanteed to see another surge ahead of the Christmas period.

United Kingdom grocery sales reportedly increased 3.1 per cent year-on-year, and 1.7 per cent excluding discounters.

Elsewhere in the Big 4 Asda enjoyed its eighth period of sales growth jumping 1.5 per cent driven by an 88 per cent sales boost in its budget Farm Stores range.

Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) maintained its position as the leading grocer in the United Kingdom, according to Kantar, despite a decline to 28% of the market versus 28.2% a year earlier.

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