Sales in the independent and convenience channel took a hit over the past 12 weeks as the multiples ramped up its value proposition, according to new Kantar data.

Kantar research found that in the 12 weeks to 4 September 2022, sales in the independent and convenience channel dropped 3.1% year-on-year.

Overall take-home grocery sales increased by 3.8% during the same period, driven by Aldi and Lidl, which both saw significant sales growth over the summer.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar said the multiples are engaged in value offering battle, with own label sales increasing. “In what is a fiercely competitive sector, supermarkets are reacting to make sure they’re seen to acknowledge the challenges consumers are facing and offer best value, in particular by expanding their own-label ranges. Their efforts seem to be well received by consumers with sales of the very cheapest value own-label products up by 33% this period versus a year ago and nearly one in four baskets containing one of these lines. Overall spending on all retailer own-label lines was £393 million higher during the latest four weeks, pushing own-label’s share of the market to 51.1%.”

This comes as grocery price inflation hit 12.4% during the past month, a new record based on Kantar’s data.

McKevitt added: “It seems there’s no end in sight to grocery inflation as the rate at which food and drink prices are increasing continues to accelerate. Now standing at 12.4% for August, the latest figure means that the average annual grocery bill will go from £4,610 to £5,181 if consumers don’t make changes to what they buy and how they shop to cut costs. That’s an extra £571 a year. Categories like milk, butter and dog food are jumping up especially quickly at 31%, 25% and 29% respectively.”

The run-up to back to school provided a burst of activity in some categories. “In the week before the schools reopened, to 4 September 2022, parents were clearly stocking up and getting ready for the return of the traditional packed lunch,” said McKevitt. “Sales of sliced bread were up by 12% in comparison with the previous three weeks, while cheese snacks grew by 18% and children’s yoghurts by 57%.”