The proportion of consumer spend on promotional items at UK supermarkets has hit its lowest level in 11 years, according to new Nielsen data.

In the four weeks ending 25 March, only 26% of spend at UK supermarkets went on products with temporary price cuts or multi-buy offers, the lowest level since 2006 (also 26%).

The reduction in promotional spend is happening across all categories but is much faster in own label - where just 18% of sales in the last year went on products on promotion - than in branded goods (41%).

“The level of promotional spend has gone back to levels not seen since before the 2008/09 economic crisis,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight. “The last few years have seen about a third of the typical supermarket shopping bill going on promotional items. However, to be more price competitive, supermarkets have turned temporary price reductions into permanent cuts, so there’s less promotional activity as many prices are cheaper all-year round.

“There’s also been a shift away from multi-buy to simpler price cuts, which is in tune with shopper needs to make it easier to manage their basket spend.”

In the 12 weeks ending 25 March Aldi’s and Lidl’s sales increased by 12.6% and 10.5% respectively on the previous year, with Iceland the next best performer with a 5.2% sales rise.

Morrisons was the only one of the big four to see year-on-year sales rise (+0.6%).