Discount retailers grab record share of Christmas food market

The companies benefited from offering more upmarket products at Christmas such as venison and fine wines, according to the market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

In the 12 weeks to December 23, Aldi sales rose 30pc compared to the previous year, meaning it claimed a record 3.2pc of the grocery market, compared to 2.6pc last year, reports The Telegraph.

Lidl sales also grew 10.8pc, increasing its market share by 0.2 percentage points to 2.8pc, while Iceland sales increased 9.7pc, giving the frozen food retailer its biggest market share for 12 years.

Edward Garner, director at Kantar, said: “Historically, the discounter sector has seen its share dip at Christmas as shoppers treat themselves and trade up, but the all-time record share of 3.2pc for Aldi is a sign of the times and shows that this is no longer the case.

“Aldi and Lidl both benefited from carrying items such as goose, venison and fine wines in their pre-Christmas catalogues this year. It seems that offering premium products at budget prices has paid off for the discount retailers.”

The Kantar data confirmed that the discount retailers are grabbing market share from Wm Morrisons, the struggling Bradford-based supermarket.

On Monday, Morrisons reported a 2.5pc fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas and is under pressure due its lack of presence in the fastest growing segments of the market, convenience stores and online.

Rival J Sainsbury, Britain’s third largest supermarket group by market share, is scheduled to reveal Christmas trading figures on Wednesday.

Fears that Sainsbury’s may report a sharp slowdown in sales growth in the face of a Tesco fightback were quelled by the Kantar figures. They show Sainsbury’s sales grew 3.4pc over the 12 weeks, allowing its market share to increase from 17pc to 17.1pc.

Meanwhile, Tesco sales rose 2.9pc – but its market share fell from 30.6pc to 30.5pc – while Asda’s share fell from 17.5pc to 17.3pc despite sales rising 2.2pc.

However, over the four weeks leading up to Christmas, Tesco’s sales growth outpaced Sainsbury’s by 4.2pc to 3.7pc.

Analysts at Barclays said: “Tesco and Sainsbury’s both appear to have done relatively well this month – with Morrisons again very weak and Asda unremarkable.”