Data from Kantar shows that grocery sales growth slowed in April as consumers adapt to life under lockdown
UK Grocery sales increased by 5.5% in April compared to the year before, according to the latest data from Kantar. Despite the rise, this is a noticeable drop compared to March which saw a record sales growth of 20.6%, suggesting that people are working their way through cupboard stocks bought in the run-up to lockdown and are adjusting to a new normal.
With restaurants, cafes and canteens all currently closed, the rise in sales is likely due to people eating more of their meals at home. This is supported by the fact that there was a fall in on-the-go food and drink sales; worth more than £350 million in April last year.
On average, households shopped only 14 times for groceries over the past month, a record low, and down from 17 in more normal times. However, this drop in frequency was matched by a corresponding uplift in the amount spent on each trip to £26.02 – the highest figure ever recorded by Kantar. Consumers appear to be heeding advice to shop less frequently, ditching more frequent top-up shops in favour of a larger weekly shop.
Convenience stores and online shopping are benefitting from social distancing measures. Demand for online shopping has continued to increase in line with retailers expanding their capacity, with shopper numbers up by a quarter. Online sales now account for 10.2% of overall grocery, versus 7.4% last month, with the greatest increase among older shoppers. Although not traditionally big users of e-commerce, over-65s spent 94% more on deliveries than they did a year ago. Convenience stores meanwhile, saw sales increase by 39% in April as people shop nearer to home.
Although it is too early to assess whether diets are changing as a result of lockdown, certainly baking appears to be on the up, with sales of suet up by 115% and sugar by 46%.
With thanks to Kantar.