Asda has outperformed the grocery market for the first time since the beginning of 2010 while Morrisons remains the strongest performer of the big four supermarkets, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel market share figures.

The latest figures for the 12 weeks ending October 30 show Asda grew by 5.1% against overall market growth of 4.6%. The last time Asda performed ahead of market growth was for the 12 week period ending December 27, 2009

However, Morrisons remained the star performer with 5.5% growth, ahead of both Tesco and Sainsbury’s, both on 4.1%.

Morrisons now holds 11.8% market share behind Sainsbury’s (16.1%), Asda (17.3%) and Tesco (30.5%). Waitrose share grew from 4.2% to 4.4%.

The discounters continue their strong run, particularly Aldi with year-on-year growth of 18.8% and an increase of its share from 2.3% to 2.6%.  However there are now signs of a slackening of pace as shares and growth rates for both Aldi and Lidl have fallen back from recent peaks.

The economic climate is favouring the value-for-money offering from frozen foods and Iceland has posted growth of 11.6% – the highest since the 2008/9 recession – and now has a market share 1.7%.

Kantar Worldpanel director Edward Garner said: “It comes as no surprise that, as shoppers try to control their budgets, an aggressive stance on price is driving retailer communication strategies.

“We have The Big Price Drop from Tesco, The Price Guarantee from Asda, Brand Match from Sainsbury’s and Price Crunch from Morrisons. The end result would appear to be a zero-sum game, as the performances from the big four show only marginal differences this period, with no outright winner.

“Given the universal emphasis on price across the sector, the big four retailers will need to differentiate themselves. Own-label brands are an obvious way of doing this.  We are already seeing double-digit growth for Tesco Finest and substantial revamps for own-label ranges at Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – suggesting this might be a key battleground going forward.”