Chocolate Cravings and Bargain Hunts Drive Down UK Food Inflation for 14th Consecutive Month

Brits indulging in chocolate treats and seeking discounts have contributed to a continued decline in grocery price inflation for the fourteenth month in a row

Britons’ love affair with chocolate and penchant for seeking out discounts have played pivotal roles in driving down grocery price inflation for the fourteenth consecutive month, according to new figures from Kantar.

The latest data reveals a notable shift in consumer spending habits, with a “significant” increase in discount purchases accounting for 29.3% of supermarket sales – the highest level outside of the festive season since June 2021.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Worldpanel by Kantar, noted the steady rise in promotions over the past 11 months as retailers respond to consumers’ desire for value. Deals have translated into substantial savings for shoppers, with an estimated £1.3 billion saved in the latest four-week period, equating to nearly £46 per household.

The emphasis on promotions, coupled with price decreases in categories such as toilet tissue, butter, and milk, has contributed to a reduction in the rate of grocery inflation at the checkout.

Easter festivities further bolstered supermarket sales, driven by increased demand for chocolate eggs. Kantar reports a surge in chocolate confectionery consumption, with 93 million more instances recorded in the year to June 2023 compared to the preceding decade.

Additionally, fruit has gained traction as a popular snack choice among Britons, with 314 million more fruit pieces consumed between meals in 2023 than in 2013.

Amidst fierce competition among supermarkets, loyalty cards and price-matching schemes have become integral tools for retaining customers. Online retailer Ocado, in partnership with Marks and Spencer, stands out as the fastest-growing grocer, with sales surging by 12.5% in the 12 weeks to 14 April, outpacing the total online market growth of 6.8%.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s, Britain’s largest grocers, have bolstered their market shares, each gaining 0.4 percentage points. Lidl achieved a record 8.0% share, fueled by sales growth of 9.1%, while fellow discounter Aldi reclaimed a 10.0% market share, reflecting a 2.8% sales increase. The competitive landscape underscores the ongoing battle for consumer attention and loyalty in the UK’s grocery sector.

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Chocolate Cravings and Bargain Hunts Drive Down UK Food Inflation for 14th Consecutive Month