Whole turkey festive sales down 7%
Whole turkeys experienced a drop of 7% at the multiple retailers over Christmas, but smaller joints flourished while consumers spent an extra £450 million on groceries compared with this time last year.
The latest figures and insight from Kantar Worldpanel, published for the 12 weeks to 30th December 2018, show that the drop in whole turkeys was down to some shoppers opting for smaller joints such as crowns, in a bid to crack down on ‘endless leftovers’.
The figures show supermarkets posting record sales of £29.3 billion over the Christmas trading period, though lower inflation took its toll on sale.
Grocery inflation now stands at +1.3% for the 12 week period, with prices rising fastest in markets such as fresh lamb, while falling in fresh bacon and pork.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight, commented: “Despite the supermarket sector growing at 1.6% – its slowest rate since March 2017 – the retailers clocked in another record-breaking Christmas as households racked up an average spend of £383 in grocery bills for the month of December.”
Saturday 22nd December proved to be the busiest shopping day of the year: more than half of all households visited one of the grocers in a last-minute Christmas hurry.
“Although the grocers achieved record sales, overall spend was actually tempered by lower inflation of 1.3%,” McKevitt added.
Although growing at half the rate of last year, premium own-label lines still increased by 3.7% over the 12-week period – hitting a record £1.1 billion in sales.
Tesco experienced growth of 0.6% boosted by an extra 125,000 customers shopping at the supermarket.
Sainsbury’s market share dropped by 0.3 percentage points as sales fell by 0.4%.
Inflation was at its lowest rate for two years, which meant Sainsbury’s turkey crowns were available from £9.
Mike Coupe, Group chief executive of J Sainsbury plc, said: “Christmas came late this year and I am pleased with the excellent service and availability that we gave customers across the Group. Sainsbury’s stores were well set up to deal with customers doing their big Christmas shops later than usual and Convenience stores hit a new record on Christmas Eve”
Meanwhile, Morrisons’ market share declined by 0.2 percentage points to 10.6% despite sales growth of 0.1%.
Two-thirds of all households shopped at either Aldi or Lidl over the 12-week period culminating in a highest-ever combined Christmas market share of 12.8%. Lidl experienced growth of 9.4%.
Meanwhile, Co-op was the only retailer to beat its 2017 growth rate, and this now stands at 3.2%.