Supermarket shares: Rich and poor divide widening

The gap between better off and poorer shoppers is widening, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel supermarket share figures, which show highest growth at the budget and high ends of the sector.

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Aldi and Lidl posted “strong” double digit growth in the 12 weeks to 10 July of 20.2% and 15.6% respectively. Waitrose recorded 9% growth – the next highest growth margin.

The analyst says the “theme of two nations is continuing”.

“The increasing polarisation of the grocery market looks set to stay as consumers turn to the discounters to cut their budgets while others continue to spend in Waitrose,” says Kantar Worldpanel director Martin Whittingham.

“This divergence seems to be reflective of some contrasting lifestyles in the UK at the moment,” he adds.

Although Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s have held on to the top three biggest supermarket positions by market share, their growth margins are much smaller – at 4.3%, 2.8% and 4.4% respectively.

Morrisons recorded the biggest growth of the period out of the “big four” supermarkets, rising 5.6% to give it a share of 11.9% of the market.

The overall market appears to be “picking up”, according to Kantar, which recorded a 3.3% rise in the four weeks to 15th July, compared to 2.5% in the four weeks to 15th May when demand slumped due to a “post Royal Wedding and Easter slump.”

However, it predicts another slowdown as it now believes grocery price inflation is likely to hit 5% this year, after it crept up to 4.8% this month.

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