Aldi becomes fifth largest supermarket in the UK

Discount supermarket Aldi has continued its impressive growth and is now the UK’s fifth largest supermarket, according to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published on Tuesday.

The German-owned chain saw its sales rise 12.4% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 29 January, taking its market share to 6.2%. As a result, it overtook the Co-op’s 6% and took fifth place for the first time.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, commented: “Just a decade ago Aldi was the UK’s tenth largest food retailer, accounting for less than 2% of the grocery market. 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.”

McKevitt also noted that, despite being overtaken by Aldi, Co-op’s 2% sales increase was well ahead of the market, continuing a run of growth stretching back to July 2015.

“A significant own label sales increase of 7% was behind the strong performance, with healthier ranges successfully catering to consumers’ good intentions for the new year,” he explained.

Tesco remains the clear leader in the UK grocery sector with a market share down slightly to 28.1%. Its sales in the 12-week period were up 0.3% year-on-year. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s sales remained flat and its share of the market dropped 0.3 percentage points to stand at 16.5%.

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

Asda’s sales fell by 1.9% and its market share was down 0.6 percentage points, although Kantar Worldpanel pointed out that the retailer did see an increase in the number of shoppers visiting its stores compared to the same period last year.

Elsewhere, Lidl — another German discounter — saw a 9.4% year-on-year sales increase which increased its market share by 0.3 percentage points, leaving the retailer holding 4.5% of the UK grocery market.

Waitrose and Iceland also saw growth in the quarter.

Kantar Worldpanel reported that price rises continued into the new year, with like-for-like inflation on a basket of everyday groceries climbing to 0.7%.

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