Sainsbury’s was the best performing big four supermarket group in the pre-Christmas period, while Tesco and Asda both suffered from the consumer drift to the discounters.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, sales at Sainsbury’s grew 1.2% in the 12 weeks ending 6 December, against total grocery market sales growth of just 0.1%.

In contrast, Tesco and Asda both suffered a fall in sales of 3.4%, while sales at Morrisons dropped 2%. Aldi and Lidl remain at the combined 10% share of the market they achieved last month, growing sales by 15.4% and 17.9% respectively year on year.

The figures also revealed that Black Friday delivered a small increase of 4% in sales compared to the previous Friday, but the event had little effect on the market overall.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Although slow growth means a distinct lack of seasonal cheer for the market, the news is more positive for consumers looking to save this Christmas.”

He said Sainsbury’s was benefiting from continued demand for its Taste the Difference range as well as Champagne and sparkling wine, with sales up by a quarter.