Asda and Sainsbury?s growth at three-year high
The grocery market is expanding at a record 6 per cent, with Asda and Sainsbury's posting their highest growth rate in three years, according to TNS Worldpanel.

The top three supermarkets reported strong sales growth to lift their combined share by 1.5 points in the 12 weeks to April 22. Tesco's market share climbed 0.6 per cent to 31.4 per cent, with a growth rate of 8 per cent, compared to Asda's share growth of 0.5 per cent to 16.8 per cent with sales up 9 per cent and Sainsbury's 16.4 per cent share is up 0.4 per cent with a growth rate of 8 per cent.

In the case of Morrisons, while the annual growth rate was lower at 5 per cent, it is at a record level for the retailer since its merger with Safeway. However, Morrisons market share fell 0.1 per cent to 11.1 per cent against the same period last year. TNS Worldpanel director of research Edward Garner said: 'This marks a welcome change from the alarming negatives seen throughout 2005.'

Waitrose's market share is up 0.1 per cent to 3.9 per cent. However, the pressure on Somerfield continues with a share drop of 0.4 per cent to 3.7 per cent.

Kwik Save's share has fallen 1 per cent to 0.2 per cent. Aldi's market share was up 0.1 per cent to 2.5 per cent, with a growth of 9 per cent, while Lidl's share dipped 0.1 per cent to 2.2 per cent with market growth of 13 per cent.

Garner added: 'From now on, these levels of growth are going to prove challenging to maintain as the sharp decline of the Kwik Save business begins to drop out of the annual comparisons. Aldi and Lidl will have to strive to keep up their current strong run as the one-off gain of shoppers and shops from Kwik Save becomes history.'