Savoury snacks and beef drive UK grocery inflation -Kantar

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FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk past the first 'till-free' Sainsbury's store in London, Britain

By James Davey

LONDON – British grocery inflation rose to 3.8% in the four weeks to Jan. 23, with the prices of savoury snacks, crisps and beef rising the most, market researcher Kantar said on Tuesday, underlining the growing cost-of-living squeeze facing many households.

The outcome represented a 0.3 percentage point increase from Kantar’s report for December and taken over the course of a 12-month period adds an extra 180 pounds ($242) to the average household’s annual grocery bill.

“We’re now likely to see shoppers striving to keep costs down by searching for cheaper products and promotions,” said Fraser McKevitt, Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight.

With official UK data showing overall consumer prices rose in annual terms by 5.4% in December, the highest rate in almost 30 years, inflation is a hot political topic.

Kantar said supermarket sales fell by 3.8% over the 12 weeks to Jan. 23 year-on-year, though sales were 8.0% higher than the same period in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted trading.

Market leader Tesco again outperformed its big four rivals with a year-on-year sales decline of 1.9% over the 12 weeks.

Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons saw sales fall 4.8%, 5.3% and 8.5% respectively.

While Tesco’s market share moved up 0.6 percentage points to 27.9%, marking a full year of gains, its three biggest rivals all lost share.

Kantar also noted there was evidence of people scrubbing up as work from home directives ended and socialising increased.

It said razor blade sales rose by 14% and spend on deodorant increased by 20% as Britons strived to make themselves presentable.

Market share and sales growth (%)

Market share Market share % change in

12 wks to 12 wks to sales (yr on

Jan. 23 2022 Jan. 24 2021 yr)

Tesco 27.9 27.3 -1.9

Sainsbury’s 15.6 15.7 -4.8

Asda 14.4 14.6 -5.3

Morrisons 9.9 10.4 -8.5

Aldi 7.8 7.4 1.1

Co-operative 5.7 6.0 -7.8

Lidl 6.2 5.9 1.2

Waitrose 5.1 5.0 -1.8

Iceland 2.4 2.5 -7.2

Ocado 1.8 1.7 2.3

Source: Kantar

($1 = 0.7437 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Sandra Maler)