• Total Till sales in the last four weeks ending 31st October 2020 grow by 6.9%, with sales in the final week of October rising by 7.2% ahead of lockdown
  •  Nielsen predicts that Brits are set to spend £2bn more in supermarkets this quarter with Christmas approaching, but uncertainty around the government’s future lockdown measures means that UK consumers are still unable to plan ahead

UK supermarket sales have increased by 6.9% in the last four weeks ending 31st October 2020, with sales in supermarkets during the final week of October rising by 7.2%¹ as UK consumers prepare for another month in lockdown, reveals new data released today by Nielsen.

In the four week period ending 31st October 2020, Nielsen data shows that UK shoppers spent an average of £17.70² per basket on FMCG at stores and online, which is 20% more than the same time last year. However, the number of store visits continue to remain low, down -12% compared to the same period last year as consumers are still limiting unnecessary travel and visits to stores, instead turning to online which continues to grow, with sales up 87% in the last four weeks.

Beers, wines and spirits (+15%), frozen food (+16%) and packaged grocery (+11%) remain the fastest growing categories over the last 4 week period.

In terms of retailer performance over the last 12 weeks ending 31st October 2020, Lidl is still experiencing strong growth (+17%) following the launch of the Lidl Plus loyalty app, as is Waitrose  (+8.6%), helped by the increased capacity for online sales. Morrisons (+8%) remains the fastest growing supermarket out of the ‘big four’, and sales at Tesco (+6.2%) have also increased, ahead of Sainsbury (+5.7%) and Asda (+3%).

The recent UK lockdown measures and uncertainty means consumers are unable to plan ahead for Christmas and family occasions during the holidays as they would have in previous years. However, looking ahead, Nielsen estimates that UK shoppers are set to spend £2bn¹ more in supermarkets for the full quarter up to 26th December 2020, an all time record high, and an expected sales growth of 7%.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, said: “We can see that supermarket sales have experienced moderate growth over the last four weeks, growing a little in the final week in anticipation of another lockdown. However UK shoppers’ plans for the Christmas period remain in limbo – they are unable to plan when and where they will shop, how much they will spend and of course whether they will be able to spend it with family and friends. Assuming that restrictions on travel and get-togethers are relaxed in December, food and drink retailers should then see pent up demand translated into extra purchasing for the festive season.”

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

The figures in the table are based on 12 week sales through to 31 October 2020  compared with the same 12 week period in 2019

Source: Nielsen Total Till, Nielsen Homescan

Unless otherwise stated all data is Nielsen Homescan Total Till

¹ Nielsen Scantrack Grocery Multiples

² Nielsen Homescan FMCG

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