• Total Till value growths have increased to 5.3% over the last four weeks, up from 4.7% last month.
  • Discounters (7.7%) perform better than convenience stores (4.3%) and supermarkets (3.1%).
  • Shoppers are willing to spend this Christmas if encouraged by low prices.

NielsenIQ data shows that, in the last four weeks, Total Till value growths have increased to 5.3% from 4.7% last month. Despite inflation accelerating and shoppers purchasing less, declining volumes have stabilised at -5.4% against -5.6% in the last 12 weeks1.

Across the industry, average spend per visit increased to £18.50 compared to £18.20 last month but is still lower than the same period last year when it was £18.70. In terms of channel performance, discounters Aldi and Lidl (7.7%) are outperforming convenience stores (4.3%) and supermarkets (3.1%)1.

Reflecting on the wider slowdown in discretionary spending due to inflation, General Merchandise value sales fell -1.2% with volumes down -7.6%. Nevertheless, value growth across FMCG for the week ending 5th November was much more robust at 5.1% at the Grocery Multiples and the strongest it has been since July’s record breaking temperatures.

The weather remains unseasonably warm and impulse categories continue to have good momentum with Crisps and Snacks (volumes +2.9%) and Soft Drinks (volumes +0.6%) the only categories to see volume growth in the last 4 weeks, and with value growths of +13.3% and +9.6% respectively.

NielsenIQ expects to see growth at larger stores improve in the run up to Christmas as savvy shoppers hunt for the lowest prices. 49% expect to find special Christmas offers from supermarkets (a direct discount on price being the most preferred) which suggests that they can be persuaded to spend provided the price is within budget2. Consumers are expected to make a trade off this year to enjoy the festive period and for many, Christmas will be cushioned by spending more on food and drink at home.

NielsenIQ found that visits to stores are up 7% compared to this time last year. ASDA is the fastest growing retailer over the last 12 weeks ending 5th November with sales growing by 7.6%, Sainsburys (5.1%) and Tesco (4.8%). Morrisons and Waitrose are the only retailers to have sales decline compared to this time last year.

According to NielsenIQ data, online sales share may have reached a turning point as the decline has slowed to just -1.2% compared to -7.8% over the last 12 weeks. Online share is now stable at 11.4% share of FMCG sales and increased from an 18-month low of 10.9% in October. It now compares favourably to a 12.2% share this time last year.

Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, said:There is some better news for retailers and suppliers as shoppers claim they will start to buy some items early for Christmas. Our recent consumer survey shows that 30% of shoppers will have started their Christmas shopping this year before mid-October compared to 18% last year. 27% also say they will buy Christmas gifts when they see them in store which suggests a ‘spreading the cost of Christmas’ mindset is ever more important this year as budgets are stretched2.

Watkins continues:NielsenIQ is anticipating £34billion will be spent at the Grocery Multiples in the 12 weeks to 31.12.22 which is a growth of c4% compared to last year when there was weak post pandemic comparatives and no real industry growth. The difference this year is that, due to inflation, we expect volumes to be down c4% with shoppers buying less and more carefully this Christmas. With the cost of grocery shopping still rising, this is motivating shoppers to shop and buy differently. With all of the big 4 supermarkets either giving extra price reductions or adding weekly vouchers to their loyalty schemes, this may prove the catalyst to help grow sales this Christmas.”

Table: 12-weekly % share of grocery market spend by retailer and value sales % change

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