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TOP NEWS: Grocery inflation eases again in April despite early Easter

Tue, 23rd Apr 2024 08:36

(Alliance News) - Grocery price inflation eased further in April, aided by a significant increase in promotional spending, new data showed on Tuesday.

Kantar said annual UK grocery price inflation ebbed to 3.2% in the four weeks to April 14, its lowest level since February 2022, and down from 4.5% in March.

For the same four-week period, the market research firm said overall take-home grocery sales rose 3.3%. For the 12 weeks to April 14, total grocery sales rose 4.3% to GBP33.92 billion from GBP32.51 billion a year prior.

An early Easter failed to dent sales, Kantar said, with spending on confectionary topping GBP100 million for the first time ever in the seven days up to and including Easter Sunday.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, explains: "Higher prices have played a role in reaching that record spend figure, but the number of chocolate eggs sold in the seven days to Easter was also 3% higher this spring than last, with 37% of consumers buying one in that week. Hot cross buns were even more popular, enjoyed by 45% of Britons."

Ocado Retail was the fastest growing retailer this month.

The firm improved sales by 12.5% in the latest 12 weeks to GBP638 million, ahead of the total online market, which rose by 6.8%, to account for 1.9% of all take-home sales.

The online-only grocer is a joint venture between Ocado Group PLC and Marks & Spencer Group PLC.

Year-on-year sales at Britain's two largest grocers, Tesco and Sainsbury's, climbed by 6.8% and 5.9% respectively in the 12-week period to GBP9.28 billion and GBP5.18 billion. Further, their shares of the market nudged up by 0.4 percentage points each to 27.4% and 15.3% respectively.

Aldi's sales stepped up by 2.8%, with its market share at 10%. Fellow discounter Lidl grew by 9.1% to capture an 8.0% share of the market.

Shares in Tesco were up 1.5% at 295.50 pence each in London on Tuesday morning. Sainsbury shares were up 1.2% to 272.20p. Ocado rose by 4.8% to 375.70p, while Marks & Spencer edged up 1.7% to 261.00p.

By Holly Beveridge, Alliance News reporter

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