NEWS5 February 2019

Grocery sales boosted by fresh produce

FMCG News Retail Trends UK

UK – Grocery sales were up in January, boosted by shoppers spending more on fresh produce, according to data from Kantar and Nielsen.

The grocery sector was up 1.7% during the 12 weeks to 27 January, according to Kantar’s Worldpanel data. The research found that sales of fruit, vegetables and salad increased by £46m compared with January 2018.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "Looking back on 2018 as a whole, one of the most notable consumer trends is the shift to a more plant-based diet. Today, 1% of all households include a vegan, 5% have a vegetarian and 10% have flexitarians in their ranks."

A separate report from Nielsen indicated that volume growth in fresh produce grew by +1.5% during the four weeks leading to 26 January, with shoppers spending over £900m on fresh fruit and vegetables (based on Nielsen Scantrack Grocery Multiples).

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight, said: "The increase in grocery spend in the fresh and frozen food categories are a testament to evolving shopping trends. In the new year, consumers are focusing on positive diet changes which are not just healthy, but convenient, cheap and are less wasteful overall."

Both reports also indicated an increase in items labelled ‘free-from’ during the past month.

Based on supermarket performance over the last 12-week period, Tesco leads with 26.8% market share, followed by Sainsbury’s at 14.9%, Asda at 14% and Morrisons at 9.9%, according to Nielsen Homescan Total Till data.

The MRS FMCG Research Summit is taking place on 9 May 2019.

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