Aldi overtakes Co-op to become fifth largest supermarket in UK

Aldi overtakes Co-op to be fifth largest supermarket

Aldi has overtaken the Co-op to become the fifth largest supermarket in the UK, now sitting behind the ‘Big Four’ grocers Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

It’s an impressive achievement given just 10 years ago the so-called discounter was the tenth biggest food retailer. But, on the back of a 12.4% year-on-year increase in sales for the last quarter (up to 29 January 2017) the brand increased its market share by 0.6 percentage points to clinch fifth place for the first time, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

“Just a decade [Aldi] accounted for less than 2% of the grocery market,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

“Since then the grocer has grown rapidly, climbing the rankings by an impressive five places to hold a 6.2% market share. Underpinned by an extensive programme of store openings, the past quarter has seen Aldi attract 826,000 more shoppers than during the same period last year”

What’s more evident of Aldi’s hold on the market is that it’s place in the top 5 came as Co-op also increased sales by 2% which was “well ahead of the market,” according to McKevitt.

Aldi competitor Lidl saw a 9.4% sales increase for the same period, giving it a 4.5% of the UK grocery market.

Overall, the market continues to grow faster than it did in 2016, with supermarket sales up 1.7% on last year and eight of the nine major retailers saw positive sales growth during the past 12 weeks.

Morrisons was the fastest-growing retailer within the big four, increasing its market share for the first time since June 2015 with a sales uplift of 1.9% year on year.

Tesco saw growth for the fifth consecutive period, with sales up 0.3% year-on-year. But, its market share fell to 28.1%. Likewise, Sainsbury’s sales remained flat and its share fell by 0.3 percentage points to stand at 16.5%.

However, Asda suffered the worst over the quarter, with a 1.9% fall in sales. Although its share dropped by 0.6 percentage points over the quarter, the retailer did manage to increase the number of shoppers visiting its stores compared to the same period last year.

Finally, Waitrose and Iceland all continued to grow. Boosting sales by 3.4%, Waitrose increased its share of the grocery market to 5.3%, while Iceland – up 8.6% year on year – saw sales growth for the tenth consecutive period.

The coming year will continue to be a tense one as rising prices continue. “We saw [price increases] at Christmas for the first time since 2014 and [they] have continued into the new year, with like-for-like inflation on a basket of everyday groceries climbing to 0.7%,” added McKevitt.

“If prices continue to rise at the same rate for the rest of 2017, shoppers will find themselves around £27 worse off.”

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