The number of shopper visits to stores increased by 13% compared to the same period last year, reaching the highest level of footfall since March 2020. In other words, shoppers made an average of two more trips to stores during the month of March. Inflation is the key driver of growth within the market.
12 weeks data shows 16.8% grocery inflation
The latest 12 weeks to 19th March 2023 saw grocery sales increase by 9.5%. Grocery Inflation (16.8%) continues to be the key driver of growth within the market, with an average price per pack increase of 13.9% year on year. Shoppers are continuing to shop little and often to navigate the cost-of-living crisis, with frequency increased to 7.7% and basket spend is up 25.1%.
Celebrations and Easter preparation
The long St Patricks weekend, Mother’s Day and the Irish Rugby Grand Slam boosted sales in March to 10.4%. Irish shoppers enjoyed Guinness, sales were up 6.7%, equating to €623,000, this means one in every 10 households purchased Guinness in March! The celebration of Rugby at home boosted sales of savoury snacks and soft drinks, sales hit €3.5m and €4.4m respectively.
Easter chocolate sales grew 20% in March. Large eggs driving the sales with an impressive 86% growth year-on-year equating to an additional €3.8m spent.
Dunnes Stores holds top position:
Dunnes have the top place in the retail market with 23.2% with a 13.4% growth year-on-year. This growth is driven by shoppers returning to store more often and new shoppers to store (+1.3 percentage points). Tesco holds 22.1% of the market with the strongest growth year-on-year at 13.6%. SuperValu holds 20.6% of the market, with shoppers making the most trips in store compared to all retailers. The discounters currently holds 25.6% of the market.
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Key insights for a food and drink producer
The importance of own label products
Own label or private label products continue to show strong growth. Shoppers continue to trade down to own label products with sales rising 13.5% compared to brands which grew at 6.2%. Value own label products saw the strongest growth and is up 34.5% year-on-year. Currently own brand has the dominant market share at 47.3% while brands hold 47% of the market. Inflationary pressures are impacting consumers habits and buying decisions. It is essential to review your product positioning within the market and within your category.
Online sales continued to grow with a 2.6% increase. An increase in frequency (4%) and higher average prices (15.5%) are the key drivers. This route to market is growing and should be reviewed as part of your retail strategy to ensure continued success within your business. If you currently have an online presence, it is essential review your website. Is it fit for purpose? Is it easy for potential customers to purchase products? Both the Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland can assist.
Retailers and producers place great significance on seasonal periods. With Easter just around the corner, it's crucial for producers to assess products in their respective categories. Take a glance at nearby products for fresh ideas, popular trends, and flavour’s, which can often be adapted from other categories. This is critical as you plan for the next key seasonal periods within your categories. Retailers will be analysing market products, so it's imperative for producers to do the same and plan accordingly for the upcoming seasonal period.
If you would like to discuss your retail strategy please contact me on:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0876061478
Stephanie has over ten years retail experience in a multinational retailer, working with Lidl Ireland as a Senior Dairy Buyer. In her role she worked with various suppliers, developing products, packaging and negotiated multi-million-euro deals.
Stephanie holds a B.Applied Science in Food and Business from St.Angelas University, Sligo