January spending on alcohol fell by more than half compared with December

Almost 6% of beer packs sold this month were no or low-alcohol options

There has been a 2% jump in no or low-alcohol beer packs sold (Photo by Anete Lusina via Pexels)

Grocery price inflation fell slightly to 6.8% in January, down from 6.9% in December 2023, according to the leading marketing data and analytics company Kantar.  This softer decline compares with a 2.2 percentage point decrease seen between November and December 2023. 

As consumers across the country took on Dry January, spending on alcohol fell by more than half compared with December.  Almost 6% of beer packs sold this month were no or low-alcohol options, marking a jump from 4% at the end of last year.  Sales of own label plant-based ranges increased by 8% on the month, as Veganuary got underway. 

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight, Kantar, said: “Health always comes to the fore as a priority for consumers in January, but what’s interesting this month is that we’re not seeing as big a spike in health-related categories as we have done in previous years.  That’s because people are now buying more of the typical January ‘health kick’ items throughout the year.  9% of annual own label plant-based sales were made in January in 2023, a steady decline compared with the 11% of sales in 2020.”

Sainsbury’s and Tesco increased their market share over the past year. Sainsbury’s sales rose by 8.1%, reaching a market share of 15.7%, while Tesco saw a 6.3% growth, holding a market share of 27.6%.

Lidl experienced the fastest growth among British grocers for the fifth consecutive month, with a sales increase of 11.9%, capturing a market share of 7.5%. Aldi also outpaced the market with a 7.2% sales increase, achieving a market share of 9.3%.

Morrisons’ sales grew by 2.8%, securing an 8.8% market share. Asda’s market share stands at 13.7%, with sales rising by 2.1%.

Waitrose recorded a sales increase of 3.5%, holding a 4.6% market share, while Co-op’s sales grew by 1.8%, resulting in a 5.3% market share. Iceland experienced a 2.3% growth, holding a 2.4% market share.

Online sales rose by 6.3%, with Ocado’s growth slightly lower at 4.0%. Ocado holds a 1.7% share of the total market.

“There’s evidence to suggest that people are opting for more homemade meals to keep budgets in line. Eighty six million more lunchboxes were brought to work last year, for example.  Looking ahead to February, it will be interesting to see how this plays out on Valentine’s Day, and if couples will opt for more low-key celebrations. This was certainly the case in 2023, when we saw a massive £43 million spent on supermarket meal deals costing £10 or more in the week before the special day” McKevitt concluded.


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