Britons switch to own-label and value ranges to fight inflation

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British shoppers swapped branded items for cheaper own-label products and turned to value ranges to help manage grocery inflation which soared to 8.3% in the four weeks to June 12, its highest level since April 2009, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Market researcher Kantar said prices are rising fastest in markets such as butter, milk and dog food, while falling in spirits.

It said supermarkets’ sales of branded items fell 1.0% over the four weeks year-on-year, while sales of own-label products rose 2.9%, boosted by strong performances from German-owned discounters Aldi and Lidl, which have extensive own-label repertoires.

Kantar said sales of value ranges, such as Asda Smart Price, Co-op Honest Value and Sainsbury’s Imperfectly Tasty, grew by 12.0%.

The comments on consumer behaviour echoed those from market leader Tesco (TSCO.L) last Friday.

Kantar said that based on its latest data, the average annual grocery bill in the UK is on course to rise by 380 pounds ($465).

“This is over 100 pounds more than the number we reported in April this year, showing just how sharp price increases have been recently and the impact inflation is having on the sector,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.

Kantar said store footfall jumped by 3.4% over the latest four weeks, while online fell to its lowest proportion of the grocery market since May 2020 at 12.0%. Digital orders fell by almost 9% in June.

“As well as the return to pre-COVID habits, this drop could also be the result of shoppers looking to cut costs by avoiding delivery charges,” said McKevitt.

Kantar said supermarket sales fell by 1.9% during the 12 weeks to June 12 year-on-year, but were up 0.4% in the latter four week period.

Market leader Tesco and Aldi and Lidl were the only groups to increase their market share on a sales value basis over the 12 weeks. Only the discounters increased sales.

Sales during the week of the queen’s Platinum Jubilee (to June 5) were 87 million pounds higher than on average in 2022, Kantar added.

Market share and sales growth (%)

($1 = 0.8171 pounds)

SOURCE: REUTERS

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