Annual grocery price inflation in Ireland has continued to decline for the third consecutive month, reaching its lowest level since November of last year, according to new data from research firm Kantar. The data reveals that grocery price inflation stood at 12.8% in the 12 weeks to August 6, down from 14.7% in July. Inflation peaked in May at 16.5%. Kantar’s data is based on year-on-year comparisons of the prices of over 30,000 identical products. The average increase in the cost of a household’s weekly grocery shop is €9.10 compared to last year.
Emer Healy, business development director at Kantar, noted that this marks the third consecutive month of declines in grocery price inflation, but cautioned that the rate remains “incredibly high”. She added, “This is the lowest level we have seen over the past 10 months, and we expect to see a continued gradual decline in inflation rates over the coming months.” Healy also highlighted the positive news that the slowdown in grocery inflation is starting to be reflected in the prices on the shelves, with a slight decline seen in average prices on essential items. As a result, consumers are spending €0.36 less on butter, milk, and cheese combined compared to May when inflation peaked.
The data also revealed that supermarket own-brand items are becoming increasingly popular with customers, with sales increasing by 13% in the three months to August 6, compared to a 5.7% increase in sales of name-brand items. For the third consecutive month, own-brand items retained a higher share of the market than name-brand items, accounting for 48.1% of sales compared to 46.3% for branded products.
The poor weather experienced in July had an impact on consumer spending, with less money spent on barbeque essentials such as chilled burgers and grills, prepared salads, ice cream, and fruit squash and mineral water. However, with more time being spent indoors, sales of take-home confectionery, take-home savouries, soup, and hot beverages saw an increase.
In terms of supermarket share of consumer spending, Dunnes Stores and Tesco both grew their shares to 22.6% each. Lidl was the only other major supermarket to increase its share, rising from 13.4% to 13.8%. Supervalu’s share dropped from 21.5% to 20.9%, while Aldi’s dropped from 12.8% to 12.6%.
The data also revealed that customers visited supermarkets 2.7% more often compared to the same period last year, although there was a slight drop in frequency of trips month-to-month, down 0.5% from July. Footfall declined for the fifth consecutive month, with 882,000 fewer trips made compared to the previous month. Supervalu’s shoppers made the most trips to their store, with an average of 22.2 trips, up 5.8% year-on-year. Tesco saw the strongest growth in footfall, up 16.9% compared to last year.