Retirees drop their online orders and flow back to supermarkets in tick vaccine, boosting confidence among older shoppers
- Food sales were up 7.4 percent – a marked slowdown compared to last month
- Online market share fell from a record 15.4 percent to 14.5 percent
- Supposedly the result of confidence among vaccinated older shoppers
Online grocery growth has slowed over the past month as more vaccinated older customers returned to the stores, new analysis shows.
According to data from Kantar, food sales are up 7.4 percent in the 12 weeks to March 21, in a marked slowdown compared to previous months.
While it is still showing impressive signs of growth, its online market share fell to 14.5 percent from its record high of 15.4 percent in February 2021.
This is believed to be due to growing confidence from older customers, with 143,000 fewer over-65s placing digital orders in March.
Online supermarket growth has slowed over the past month as more vaccinated older customers returned to stores at double the national rate
Now largely vaccinated, this age group increased trips to brick-and-mortar stores by 6.8 percent – more than double the national rate.
In total, households made 13 million extra trips to the supermarket in the past month.
Sales fell 3 percent in the four weeks to March 21 compared to a year earlier – the first comparison to the first national lockdown that cleared supermarket shelves in the UK at the start of the pandemic.
Kantar’s Fraser McKevitt said: ‘Last year, the British adapted to closing schools and offices and made extra trips to the supermarket to fill their cabinets before closing.
‘To put that in context, shoppers made 117 million times less to the supermarket this month compared to those loaded weeks in March 2020.’
This is believed to be due to growing confidence from older customers, with 143,000 fewer over-65s placing digital orders in March. Pictured: Tesco increased sales by 8.5 percent and regained share to capture 27.1 percent of the market
Iceland experienced the strongest growth during the period – excluding online business Ocado – with sales up 14.3 percent, despite its refusal to refund the corporate holiday discount returned by its rivals.
Aldi, which did refund its corporate rates, performed the worst with growth of only 1.5 percent in a 12-week period.
Mr. McKevitt added: “It’s important to look at these numbers in the bigger picture, and the two-year growth rates allow us to examine retailers’ performance amid these moving parts.
While grocery growth has slowed from 2020, sales are still much higher than in the same 12 weeks in 2019 – at 15.6 percent.
“As the restrictions on eating out continue, the average household spent an extra £ 134 on groceries to take home compared to this period two years ago.”
Online grocery sales have also slowed over the past four weeks, with signs shoppers returning to brick-and-mortar stores, with market share falling from 15.4 percent in February to 14.5 percent in March, equating to 13 million additional trips to supermarkets this month.
Iceland had the strongest growth during the period – excluding online business Ocado – with sales up 14.3 percent, according to data in Kantar
Confidence has returned, particularly among the over-65s, with the age group placing 143,000 fewer online orders.
Tesco increased its sales by 8.5 percent and regained market share to capture 27.1 percent of the market, up 0.3 percentage points from the same 12 weeks last year.
Asda grew ahead of the market and increased its market share from 15.0 to 15.1 percent.
Morrisons’ sales growth of 8.7 percent meant a share increase of 0.1 percentage point to 10.1 percent, while sales at Sainsbury’s increased 7.3 percent to keep the stock stable at 15.3 percent.
Ocado continued its impressive sales increase – at 33.9 percent, although Lidl and Aldi, which do not offer online deliveries, only achieved growth of 2.9 and 1.5 percent respectively.
Cooperative sales increased 7.1 percent, with shoppers visiting an average of 22 times over the 12 weeks and Waitrose sales increasing 5.1 percent.
With Easter weekend, Kantar also approached shoppers having already spent £ 37 million on hot cross buns and £ 153 million on Easter eggs on March 21 – £ 48 million more than the same stage last year.