NEWS31 July 2023

Grocery sales slowed in July, finds NIQ

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UK – Sales at UK supermarkets have slowed to a 8.9% rise in the four weeks to 15th July 2023, according to data from NIQ.

Supermarket shelves with promotions

The data showed that growth in sales was down from June 2023’s 12.4%, but that the drop in sales growth in July was partly due to unusually high growth registered in June.

However, this is also combined with a slowdown in food inflation and trading against previous high comparatives, which included the acceleration of inflation this time last year.

Volume sales were at -3.6%, with cooler and wetter weather seeing less additional spending compared with last year, when summer heatwaves were happening.

Growth slowed for dairy products (+9.4%) and frozen foods (+7%) following retailer price cuts, but there was an increase in sales of confectionery (+16.5%), packaged grocery (+13.4%) and crisps and snacks (+12.8%).

The rising cost of living was also affecting shopping trends, with promotional activity accounting for 22.5% of grocery sales, up from 20% in the same period last year.

There were also sales increases for Aldi (+22.3%) and Lidl (+17.9%), and a growing demand for the value retail chains, like B&M, Home Bargains and Poundland, where fast-moving consumer good sales increased 11%.

Mike Watkins, UK head of retailer and business insight at NIQ, said: “Shoppers continue to seek out value by looking for bargains, we’re seeing them become more channel agnostic and less likely to remain loyal to many supermarkets.

“Over the next eight weeks, we expect to see a similar pattern on spending with little improvement in volume sales as school holidays kick off. The battleground for shopper loyalty is now shifting – retailers must be prepared to build on the trend to shop little and more often when consumers revert to their usual shopping patterns post holidays.”