While frequency of alcohol purchasing remained flat, volume per trip was down everywhere – except at the discounters.
Overall alcohol volume sales were down by 1.6 million litres – primarily as a result of declines at Tesco (down 1.4 million litres) as shoppers cut back on the volume they purchase per trip.
But despite this drop in volumes, an average price increase of 60 cents a litre drove topline growth for alcohol resulting in a sales increase of 5.9% (€7.8 million).
Promotional levels dropped back by 3 percentage points year-on-year, reports Kantar Worldpanel which adds that all retailers except Dunnes managed to grow value sales through this ease-off on promotions.
However Dunnes alcohol shoppers also cut back on their trips which meant a drop in spend per buyer that added to volume declines to cause losses of €1.6 million in sales year-on-year.
Wine and cider were the primary growth drivers for the alcohol market, with an increase in shopper numbers as well as prices. Beer & lager sales values were down 7.3% (€3.4m), impacted by shoppers cutting back on volumes as prices rose.
In overall terms, shoppers are making slightly fewer trips but buying more groceries each time. This means bigger baskets and an increase in the volume of goods purchased, which has provided an €18 million boost in grocery sales in this 12 week period.
Aldi continues to be the strongest performing retailer, reaching a record 8% share. Lidl has also posted double-digit sales growth. SuperValu is the only other retailer to have grown sales this period, having attracted an additional 18,000 shoppers through its doors.
The ‘little and often’ shopping pattern which emerged during the recession is showing signs of reversing.