Drinking at home sends supermarket sales soaring

Supermarkets recorded their busiest week since March as families prepared for new lockdown restrictions.

Sales grew by 10.6 per cent in the four weeks to October 4, up from 8 per cent in the previous month, industry figures from Kantar show. 

Britons spent an extra £261million on alcohol as the 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants started and the Eat Out to Help Out ended.

Britons spent an extra £261m on alcohol last month as the 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants started and the Eat Out to Help Out ended

Britons spent an extra £261m on alcohol last month as the 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants started and the Eat Out to Help Out ended

Britons spent an extra £261m on alcohol last month as the 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants started and the Eat Out to Help Out ended

Web sales grew by 76 per cent year-on-year with a fifth of all households ordering food online.

The seven days from September 21 to 27 were the busiest since March, with 107m trips recorded, although this was still well below the 175m weekly trips before the first lockdown.

Sales of toilet roll and flour rose 64 per cent and 73 per cent respectively – but beyond this there was ‘little evidence’ of panic buying, the report said.

Online-only grocer Ocado, which started a partnership with Marks & Spencer on September 1, remained the fastest growing supermarket, recording 41.9 per cent growth in the 12 weeks to October 4. 

It was the only retailer to add customers – 22,000 – according to Kantar, and its market share rose from 1.4 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

However, Waitrose’s online business grew even faster, thanks to rapid expansion in its own delivery slots as it readies for the end of its deal with Ocado. Sales rose 8.9 per cent, maintaining its 5 per cent market share.

Morrisons continued to be the best performer among the Big Four, with 11.5 per cent sales growth.

Tesco held fast to its 26.9 per cent market share with 9.2 per cent sales growth, after new boss Ken Murphy said it had gained customers from the German discounters. 

Sainsbury’s and Asda, bought this month by the Issa brothers, lost share with revenue growth of just 6.8 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively.

The pandemic has halted growth at discounters Aldi and Lidl due to the fact they do not have online businesses. Iceland, which is 50 next month, took its market share to 2.3 per cent.

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