Another turn of the screw

Inflation puts pressure on supermarkets

woman in supermarket
Consumers appear to be shopping around more as they hunt for better value.

SUPERMARKET sales fell by 4.4% during the 12 weeks to 15 May 2022, as consumers felt the effects of significant grocery price inflation.

Kantar figures for the four-weeks to 15 May found like-for-like grocery prices had risen by 7.0%, compared with the same period in 2021, the highest grocery inflation since May 2009.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, warned that shoppers are “really feeling the squeeze at supermarket tills.”

“They’re having to stretch their budgets further to accommodate rising prices.

“To put the most recent numbers into context, if you were picking up supplies for a family fry up over the long weekend with toast, eggs, sausages, bacon, and beans it would cost you £6.83 – that’s a significant 40p increase on last year,” he said.

Nielsen Total Till figures for the four weeks ending 21 May also found inflation affecting consumer behaviour, but with some positive news for the convenience channel.

NielsenIQ data did find that as household budgets continue to be squeezed, shoppers have been ‘shopping around’ for the best prices. The firm’s data reveal that visits to stores were up 7% versus a year ago, which is driving total till growth and improving bricks and mortar sales.

The convenience channel also outperformed the supermarkets, with growth of 3.7% and now accounting for 24% of all FMCG sales.

Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “Shoppers are becoming more considered in what they buy and the current challenge for supermarkets is to improve volume growth by getting more items into the shopping basket.”