Hospitality hits sales

Frozen and beer take big hits

Picture credit: Shutterstock/ Deyan Georgiev Meat and sausages in a butcher shop. Stand. Showcase with meat in small local store. UK food supermarket.

THE reopening of the UK hospitality industry has had a negative effect on supermarket grocery sales, according to research by NielsenIQ and Kantar.

NielsenIQ figures reveal that in the four weeks to 22 May, grocery sales at UK supermarkets declined by 6.7%, with overall total till grocery sales falling 2.7%.

It does point out, though, that this performance was still 11% higher than in May 2019, which NielsenIQ said reflects entrenched behaviour changes.

Digging deeper into sales performance, NielsenIQ revealed that delicatessen sales were up by  18.6% over the period, while frozen food was the biggest loser, down by 14.9%, with beers, wines and spirits sales down 6.7% with hospitality reopening.

Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “Looking ahead, the challenge for food retailers is to reassess shopping behaviour now when their customers have opportunities to spend elsewhere across leisure, hospitality and travel.”

Kantar reported a similar decline, with take-home grocery sales falling by 0.4% in the 12 weeks to 16 May and basket size falling for the third month in a row but, it points out, people are returning to the supermarket.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar  said: “As the vaccine rollout moves full steam ahead, consumers are getting more confident venturing back to stores.

“Shoppers made 58 million more visits to the supermarket this period than they did in May 2020.”