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Aldi and Lidl continue to eat away at 'big four's' market share

Christian Fernsby |
Consumer spend on groceries held up well over the last few months, as shoppers continued to file their way towards discounters Aldi and Lidl even though temperatures failed to match 2018's record highs, the results of a closely-followed survey revealed.

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According to consultancy Kantar, the UK grocery market expanded by a further 1.3% over the 12 weeks to 20 May.

That was less than the torrid pace of 2.7% seen during the comparable year ago period, but sales volumes were unchanged and last year's record turnover came amid a host of major social events, including the royal wedding, the FA Cup final and scorching heat.

"Growth of 1.3% may appear modest when compared with last year's 2.7%, however, the sector continues to demonstrate resilience and volume sales remain unchanged from last year.

"We have two European football finals with British interest, the Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Women's World Cup to look forward to in the coming weeks and retailers will be aiming to capitalise on these events and attract more shoppers throughout summer," said Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar.

Predictably, sales of beer and lager, ice cream and sun care products all declined, shrinking by 7%, 12% and 16%, respectively.

Total consumer spend at Aldi shot up by 11.1% to £2,191m, while at its German peer Lidl it rose by 8.5% to £1.589m, boosting the pairs' market shares from 7.3% and 5.4% to 8.0% and 5.8%.

Nearly 1.0m more households visited Aldi compared to last year, while an additional 630,000 did so a Lidl, Kantar said.

Ocado also saw an increase in till roll, which grew by 6.4% to £326m, which saw its market share creep higher by a tenth of a percentage point 1.3%.

Tesco continued to tower over rivals with a market share of 27.3%, versus 27.7% in 2018, although total till roll in act edged higher, rising from £7,500m to £7,503m.

At Asda and Morrisons on the other hand, total till roll dipped as did their market share, with their slice of the overall market shrinking by one and two tenths of a percentage point to 15.2% and 10.4%, respectively.

It was even worse at Sainsbury's, where the toll roll fell by 1.7% to £4,249m and the market share shrank by five tenths of a percentage point to 15.2%.

The till roll staid Waitrose was little changed, as was its market share, at 5.1%, while at Iceland consumer spend advanced at a glacial 0.2% to £581m.

Significantly, Kantar pointed out how there were still the Cricket World Cup and FIFA Women's World Cup to look forward to over the coming weeks.

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