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Nearly half of grocery shoppers visit a discounter

Year-on-year supermarket sales volumes rise for ninth time in last 10 periods

London, 22 September 2015. Almost 50% of UK households buying groceries are now visiting Aldi or Lidl every month, helping the discounters to continue gaining market share at the expense of the major supermarkets – according to the latest data from global information and insights company Nielsen.

In the 12 weeks ending 12 September 2015, Aldi and Lidl accounted for 10.7% of UK supermarket sales, compared to 8.7% a year earlier.

“Sales at both Aldi and Lidl continue to increase by more than 20% year-on-year,” explains Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins. “These discounters are attracting new shoppers by opening new stores and using ads that communicate not just value, but quality and freshness too. Discounters now attract nearly one in two shoppers every four weeks and look set to gain significant increases in market share for the third consecutive Christmas, as they become a bigger part of shoppers’ Christmas repertoire.”

Sainsbury’s was, once again, the best performing of the top four supermarkets, and the only one to record a year-on-year increase in sales (0.1%). It has progressed by attracting new shoppers and increasing shopper spend per visit.

Watkins notes: “Year-on-year sales comparisons at Tesco are starting to improve (now -1.0%) – while ASDA (-3.7%) and Morrisons (-1.8%) continue to be the Big Four’s weakest performers.”

The overall market

Sales volumes rose 0.3%¹ during the four weeks ending 12 September 2015, versus the same period a year ago – the ninth year-on-year rise in the last 10 reporting periods. There was no year-on-year change (0.0%) in sales value at the tills.

“Supermarkets continue to see deflation in key categories such as fresh and chilled foods, bakery and packaged grocery,” notes Watkins. “However, volume growth in snacks, confectionery and drinks continues, which shows the importance of strong branded promotions in driving sales. There’s also volume growth in fruit and vegetables, which reflects the fact that many prices are lower than a year ago – encouraging shoppers to buy more.”

– ENDS –

All figures are from Nielsen Homescan Total Till unless otherwise stated
¹Source: Nielsen Scantrack Grocery Multiples

About Nielsen Homescan Total Till

The Nielsen continuous 14,500 GB household panel is geo-demographically balanced and designed to measure household purchasing through a wide range of channels. It includes all food and drink and non-food spend (e.g. household, personal care, clothing, electrical, cards and stationery, toys, music, general merchandise, etc.) It represents the total amount paid (after all coupons and vouchers), found on the till receipt.

About Nielsen Scantrack 

The Nielsen scanning service that measures total store sales every week by SKU for 15,000 shops across all food and drink trade channels in GB. This uses the actual EPOS data from retailers, thus, Scantrack is the most robust and reliable measure of FMCG sales and is integrated with Homescan for the key indicators of retailer and category performance. The total market measured is £145bn per annum. ‘Grocery Multiples’ is a defined sub-set of the major supermarkets that also includes all food sales from Marks and Spencer (but excludes Aldi and Lidl). The Grocery Multiples account for over £121bn of all GB food, drink and supermarket general merchandise sales.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

More information

Alex Burmaster
Meteor Public Relations
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Neil Beston
PR Director, UK & Europe
Tel: 020 3103 3959
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