Aldi and Lidl achieved meteoric sales growth over Christmas at the expense of Morrisons, the only one of the big four grocers to experience slowing sales.

Kantar Worldpanel data for the 12 weeks to January 5 showed Aldi’s sales grew 29.4% and Lidl’s 17.5% over the crucial Christmas period.

Morrisons sales contracted 1% in the period and its market share fell to 11.5% from 12% last year as discount shoppers failed to trade up to Morrisons and it lost out to multichannel rivals.

Sainsbury’s performed the strongest of the big four grocers with a 3.1% increase in sales and its market share was static at 17.1% year on year.

Asda’s sales rose 0.8% and its market share dropped 0.4 percentage points to 17.1% while Tesco’s sales edged up 0.2% as its market share dropped to 29.6% from 30.4% last year.

Kantar Worldpanel director Ed Garner said: “Among the big four, only Sainsbury’s was able to resist the relentless pressure from the discounters and Waitrose. Now catching up with Asda, it managed to hold share and outperform the market with year-on-year growth of 3.1%.

“As revealed last week, Morrisons suffered the most among the major supermarkets with its share dropping from 12% last year to 11.5% now and a decline in overall sales of 1%. The absence of an online offering is a major factor in its decline with total internet grocery sales over the Christmas and New Year period growing at 22% with 15% of British households placing orders. However, the retailer has now begun deliveries via Ocado in the Midlands which might help it return to growth.”

Kantar added that local convenience shopping was a fast growing sector over Christmas with both Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local enjoying double-digit growth. 

Waitrose’s sales rose 6.4% as shoppers sought out premium food and its market share edged up to 4.8% from 4.7% last year.

Shoppers seeking a value offer also headed to Farm Foods, which achieved a 41.9% bump in sales, and Iceland, where sales rose 3.8%.