Sales in the grocery sector grew at 4.1% in the four weeks to October 30 as Halloween promotions helped keep the market steady, according to research house Nielsen.

Promotions for the period stood at 38%, with inflation overall of 2.2%.

Mike Watkins, senior manager retailer services at Nielsen, said: “Halloween and the October school half term traditionally marks the ramping up of seasonal sales for food retailers and with underlying trading momentum slowing, a lot was expected this year. 

“But over the 4 weeks to the end of October the headline sales growths for the grocery multiples remain broadly unchanged at +4.0% with no sales peak in the last week of the month.

Asda, Tesco and Waitrose launched some new initiatives in October and Nielsen said “these look to have worked with all three retailers gaining new shoppers and Waitrose in particular, seeing average spend per visit grow over 11% year-on-year”.

It said Morrisons, which starts its Christmas voucher scheme this week, has “experienced some loss of shoppers in the short term which is evidence of how competitive and volatile the market has become this year”.

It said Sainsbury’s currently has “stellar performance”. It attracted over 400,000 new shoppers compared to this time last year and sales are up 7% in the last four weeks from new space, strong branded promotions and differentiation through private label. The retailer now has a 14.7% share of the market, up from 14.3% this time last year.


Retailer 12w/e
12 w/e
Value Sales %
Change12 weeks
Co-op & S’field8.17.3-6.0