Ice cream rush helps supermarket sales soar in June

by Frankie Norman June 30, 2017, 0:15
Ice cream rush helps supermarket sales soar in June

LONDON-U.K's top four supermarket chains all recorded sales growth but lost market share as shoppers seeking lower prices patronized German retailers Aldi and Lidl, a survey showed Wednesday.

Supermarket sales have seen a "marked turnaround" with growth accelerating to five per cent for the 12 weeks to 18 June, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel figures.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: "Butter and fish fans will be feeling price increases most keenly". At Tesco, sales grew by 3.5 percent, or the fastest rate for the blue-chip grocer since April 2012. He said the warm weather was likely to fuel further sales growth. Butter is nearly 20 percent pricier than a year ago, while salmon prices are up 14 percent, the researcher said.

As of 09:30 BST, Tesco's share price had added 0.84 percent to 168.20p, outperforming the broader United Kingdom market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having fallen into the red and now standing 0.47 percent lower at 7,411.75 points.

Waitrose and the Co-op also continued their upward growth, rising 5.5% and 2.2% respectively - but there was little positive impact on market share across the board, as the discounters stole that share, boosting their share collectively by 1.4 percentage points. "Recent spates of hot weather have given an early boost to traditional summer categories including ice cream and cider, with respective increases of 12% and 16% adding £58mln in sales, and that's not including the most recent heatwave". That isn't to say Asda's own label offer is struggling - its Extra Special premium line and recently launched Farm Stores range contributed to a 1.4 per cent increase in private label sales.

Both retailers continue to gain market share, holding 5% and 6.9% respectively.

Tesco PLC's (TSCO.LN) market share fell to 27.8% in the 12 weeks, from 28.2% for the comparable period.

"Lidl has pipped Aldi to the title of the UK's fastest growing supermarket for the first time since March, with sales growth of 18.8% just ahead of the latter's 18.7%", said McKevitt.

Falling cooked poultry prices had helped mitigate price rises on other grocery staples, Kantar reported. Overall inflation was 2.7 per cent in May, the highest in four years.

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