Britons spent an extra £67 million on alcoholic drinks in July as the hot summer brought strong growth to the grocery market, supermarket figures show.
Consumers’ willingness to spend more on products such as ice cream and soft drinks to fully enjoy the summer sun resulted in the growth of branded products outstripping own label lines for the first time since May 2015, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks to August 12.
Non-alcoholic beers also saw sales up 58% compared with this time last year and soft drink sales increased by 28%.
Men’s skincare products jumped by 16%, which Kantar attributed to the popularity of Love Island.
This is welcome news for the industry after a lacklustre start to the year following the Beast from the East and a squeeze on spending as inflation continued to bite Mike Watkins, Nielsen
Meanwhile, consumer preference for shopping locally when the sun is shining helped The Co-op experience its fastest growth in nearly seven years at 7.8%.
Morrisons regained its position as the fastest-growing of the big four supermarkets with growth up 2.7%, gaining 231,000 new shoppers, of which 66% were among the more affluent bracket.
Asda saw growth of 2.6%, while Tesco increased total sales by 1.8% and Sainsbury’s was up 1.2%.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “The grocery market experienced strong growth buoyed in particular by the recent heatwave.”
Aldi’s growth of 12.6% helped boost its market share to 7.6% – a 0.6 percentage point increase on this time last year – while sales at Lidl were up 8.6% for a 5.5% share of the market.
Analysts Nielsen said the last four weeks alone brought industry growth of 4.2%, recording that Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco saw more shoppers visiting more often and spending more each time as a result of the warmer temperatures and the prolonged heatwave over the quarter.
Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight, said: “As one of the hottest summers on record, these past 12 weeks have given a real boost to sales at supermarkets.
“This is welcome news for the industry after a lacklustre start to the year following the Beast from the East and a squeeze on spending as inflation continued to bite.”