Own label products, an area in which the independent sector has been applying much of its focus, is booming throughout most of the grocery sector, the latest research from Kantar Worldpanel shows.
The only retailer in which branded products outpaced own label for the 12 weeks ending 18 June was Asda, which sells a greater proportion of brands than many of its rivals, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s grocery market snapshot.
Asda own label is far from struggling, however. Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said the Leeds-based multiple’s Extra Special premium line and recently-launched Farm Stores range contributed to a 1.4% increase in private label sales.
Kantar Worldpanel noted grocery inflation was running at 3.2%, which McKevitt said equated to an extra £133 on the average household’s annual shopping bill, or the equivalent of seven extra shopping trips a year.
Inflation had hit butter and fish most, with butter almost 20% more expensive than this time last year, and farmed salmon supply issues had fed into a 14% price increase across fresh and tinned fish.
Grocery prices overall had been climbing since the 12-week period to 1 January, following 30 consecutive periods of deflation from September 2014 to December last year, according to Kantar Worldpanel
It said falling prices in categories including ambient cooking sauces and cooked poultry had partially offset higher prices in markets such as butter, fish and instant coffee.
The latest snapshot shows a trend of growing sales in the symbols and non-affiliated independents continues to outpace many multiple rivals in percentage terms – at 8%, ahead of Iceland (7.4%), Waitrose (5.3%), the Co-op (2.2%), Morrisons (3.7%), Asda, 2.2%, Sainsbury’s (3.1%) and sector leader Tesco (3.5%), which has 27.8% market share.
Symbols and independents saw market share climb from 1.9% to 2% year on year, putting them just two percentage points behind Iceland, at 2.2% of the market.
Overall grocery sector sales growth accelerated to 5% - the strongest increase since March 2012 and a stark contrast to the 0.2% seen this time last year.
Nielsen’s own figures for the four weeks ending 17 June show similar dynamics with supermarket sales up 4% year on year and sales up 5.7% in the final week in that period.