'Beast from the East' saw surge in supermarket spending

Irish shoppers also spent a massive €20.6m on Easter chocolate

'Beast from the East' saw surge in supermarket spending

Shoppers peruse empty shelves as Storm Emma/Beast from the East hit Ireland in March 2018 | Image: RollingNews.ie

New figures show the Irish grocery market managed to fend off the recent 'Beast from the East' bad weather.

The latest share figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending March 25th show sales growth of 3.8%.

While shoppers had upped their spend in preparation for the bad weather, the length of the storm meant that the week following the cold snap Irish households spent €20.33 more than usual on restocking their kitchens.

And with Easter celebrations falling two weeks earlier compared to 2017, Irish consumers crammed their Easter egg shopping into the month of March.

Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "Sales of Easter eggs and seasonal chocolate confectionery in March rocketed by 75.2% compared to this time last year, with price rises of 2.4% doing little to deter customers from their chocolate fix."

By March 25th, just over half of all households had picked up their Easter treats, and Irish shoppers had spent a total of €20.6m on the holiday chocolate.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

Competition remains tight among the retailers.

Although its market share is 0.2 percentage points behind both Dunnes Stores and SuperValu, Tesco experienced its strongest sales growth in over six years - up 7.1%.
Over the past 12 weeks, customers upped their average spend by €1.36 to €26.06.

But despite a strong performance, Kantar says Tesco was unable to edge in front of Dunnes Stores and SuperValu.

Dunnes Stores is now neck and neck with SuperValu - the first time that SuperValu has returned to the top spot since October 2017 - with both retailers securing a joint market share of 22.1%."

Lidl - only one of two retailers to gain market share this month - was buoyed by strong sales growth of 4.7% to increase its market share to 11.5%.

Aldi experienced growth of 2.4%, but dropped market share by 0.2 percentage points to 11.3%.