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  • Brits spend £1.1bn more on groceries in-store than this time last year, as online grocery sales slow. Convenience stores benefit with 11.3% growth in the last four weeks.
  • Consistent sunshine and warm weather sees weekly grocery sales rise to £2.9bn in the week ending 17th June, the second highest so far this year after Easter.
  • Shoppers indulge in seasonal items and impulse purchases, with sales up for ice-cream (+47%), sports & energy drinks (+31%) and suncare (+74%)

The sunny weather and early June heatwave saw Total Till grocery sales remain steady at 12.4%, a slight increase on the 12.3% rise recorded in May, reveals new data, released today by NIQ (previously known as NielsenIQ).

Despite the cost of living crisis, the warm weather throughout June was a welcome distraction for Brits. Volume growth at the Grocery Multiples over the last month continued to improve at -2% (compared to -2.6% in May). Moreover, the week ending 17th June, experienced consistently warm weather and which coincided with this year’s Father’s Day celebrations, saw weekly grocery sales improve to £2.9bn, which is the second highest week so far this year behind Easter.

British shoppers have been embracing the warm weather, leading to a boost in sales for more seasonal drink items. According to data from NIQ, there were strong value sales uplifts for sports & energy drinks (+31%), flavoured non carbs (+23%), mineral water (+25%), cider (+22%)1.  The opportunity for alfresco drinks helped sales of Pimms and the week of the 17th June was the second largest value & volume week for the brand this year after the coronation growing at 37.8% as the nation cheers to summer.2

With more opportunities to socialise and spend time outdoors enjoying the weather, UK grocery retailers also experienced a growing demand in other seasonal items such as suncare (+74%), Ice-cream (+47%) and hayfever remedies (+25%).

The warm weather also encouraged Brits to shop in-store, with NIQ revealing a rise in in-store sales (+13.4%) over the four week period. With this in mind, brick and mortar grocery spend increased by £1.1bn, compared to the same period last year. This was a significant boost for the convenience channel – where sales grew 11.3% in the four week period, while supermarkets grew 8.7%.2 However, this led to slower sales growth (+4.1%) for online, with the online share of FMCG sales also dipping to 10.4%.3

Discounters maintained strong growth with sales increase for Aldi (+22.2 %) and Lidl (+18.7). Marks and Spencer continued to attract new shoppers and this led to an increase in sales 15.4%, which maintains its spot as the fastest growing retailer after the discounters. The extension of Nectar prices helped shoppers to continue to navigate the cost of living crisis with further discounts and promotional prices and saw Sainsbury’s (+11.7%) gain market share over the last 12 weeks.

Mike Watkins, NIQ’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, said: “In the last four weeks there were 34 million extra visits to stores compared to last year and encouragingly 30% more than the additional visits we recorded in early May. These visits would have included smaller baskets, drinks, snacks and refreshments, as shoppers were out and about enjoying the sun. It’s no surprise that online grocery sales have taken a bit of a hit as there was less of a need to order in a big grocery shop.”

Watkins concludes: “We expect to see supermarket volumes continue to improve slowly, as food inflation peaks. However, what shoppers buy and where they shop will continue to be strongly influenced by the continued squeeze on disposable incomes. This means that spending over the next few months is still going to be focussed on essential needs but as we continue to enjoy the sunshine this summer, there’ll be an increase in impulse spending on cold drinks and treats which is an upside for supermarkets in general.” 

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

Unless otherwise stated all data is NIQ Homescan Total Till

1 NielsenIQ Scantrack Grocery Multiples

2 NielsenIQ Scantrack Total GB

3 NIQ Homescan FMCG

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