Symbols and independents beat Morrisons for growth but lag behind market
DISCOUNTERS Aldi and Lidl are continuing to thump the mainstream supermarkets, according to the latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel. And premium grocery chain Waitrose is also growing strongly, leaving the big four of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons standing.
Symbols and independents are growing faster than Morrisons, but are behind the rest of the market.
The two German discount chains are the clear winners, with Aldi growing at 37% year on year and Lidl up 14.3%. Both have set out to target middle-class shoppers, with advertising and promotion emphasising fresh produce. Lidl has also introduced in-store bakeries.
Waitrose is up 9.7% in the latest Kantar report but Sainsbury’s is the only one of the big four to grow its market share over the last year.
Kantar Worldpanel director, Edward Garner, said the squeeze in the middle was partly down to the price-match promises of the supermarket giants.
“Price match promotions such as Asda’s ‘Price Guarantee’, Sainsbury’s ‘Brand Match’ and Tesco’s ‘Price Promise’ have meant that price is less of a differentiator and shoppers cannot be convinced to switch outlets based on cost alone,” he said.
“There has been a renewed focus on providing quality own-label products and this strategy seems to be paying dividends. Tesco Finest and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference have both registered double digit growth.”
But the space occupied by the multiples will remain uncomfortable. Garner said: “Strong performances by retailers at both ends of the market pose a significant challenge for the big four supermarkets. The combined growth of Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose has taken three market share points out of the grocery market over the past three years and is forcing the major supermarkets to compete for an ever-smaller middle ground.”