Shopping basket

Sales within symbol group and independent stores have dropped significantly in the 12 weeks to 1 November, Kantar data has revealed.

According to Kantar data, sales in symbols and independents totalled £545m, representing a 1.9% share. Although up .2ppt, or £58m, on the previous 12 weeks, the share is significantly down (10.7%) year-on-year. It’s up 3.3% on two years ago.

Overall, take-home grocery sales fell by 1.9% year-on-year although still up 7.3% compared to 2019.

Head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Fraser McKevitt warned that it “would take three years to get back to our old shopping patterns”.

““Our shopping habits are beginning to settle at a new baseline as we’ve adapted our lifestyles through the pandemic. The general trend towards bigger, less frequent trips to the supermarket seems set to stay. Households visited the supermarket 15.7 times in the past month on average. That’s a slight increase from the 15.3 trips we saw at this time in 2020, but consumers are still making 40 million fewer trips per month than they were in 2019.”

Festive sales

McKevitt also predicted a bumper festive season, driven by consumers wanting to “most of calendar milestones”.

“After a tough 18 months, consumers are gearing up for bigger and better celebrations,” he said. “An unrestricted Halloween drove sales of pumpkins up 26% in the four weeks to 31 October, and with trick or treating back on the cards seasonal confectionery grew by 27%.

“With Christmas ads out earlier than ever and Christmas stock on the shelves, we’re keen to prepare early this year so we can dive head first into festivities. 4.7 million households bought mince pies this month. Customers are also getting ahead on shopping for the big day itself. Frozen poultry sales are 27% higher year on year, with people spending an additional £6.1 million in the latest four weeks. 1.6 million households bought their Christmas pudding this month as well, 400,000 more than last year.”