Sunshine sends sales soaring

Warm weather enjoyed by many in Scotland in May helped supermarkets

THE late spring heatwave in May resulted in supermarkets experiencing the best non-seasonal growth in a four-week period since July 2013, according to the latest data from Nielsen.

Grocery accelerated to 5% growth. Overall, supermarket volume returned to growth at 2.1% with alcohol up 12%, soft drinks growing by 13%, ice cream rising 41% and crisps and snacks up by 7.5% as shoppers took their parties outside.

“This growth is well ahead of inflation, indicating that despite any underlying concerns shoppers may have around balancing the monthly household budget, they are willing to spend on food and drink,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight.

Nielsen figures show that over the twelve weeks to 19 May, Asda had the most improved year-on-year sales growth of the top four supermarkets at 3.3% followed by Morrisons 2.6%.

Iceland had the best growth figures – 3.8% – outside the discounters.

Kantar Worldpanel figures for the same period reveal that in May sales of burgers and sausages rose by 39% and 12% respectively, while non-alcoholic beer sales jumped by 64% .

Kantar also reported that Morrisons has now recorded 19 consecutive periods of sales growth, holding market share at 10.5%.

Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar said: “The supermarket succeeded in attracting an additional 311,000 new shoppers through its doors. 

“Morrisons saw its alcohol sales increase by almost 8%, while the relaunch of the grocer’s own-label line ‘Savers’ also contributed to overall performance.”

Hayward also reported that,  with year on year sales growth of 2.8%, Asda is performing ahead of the market, with sales from its online service rising by 7.6% year on year.

He added: “Tesco experienced a sales increase of 2.2% and encouraged an extra 170,000 customers to its stores, despite dropping market share by 0.1% to 27.7%.”