Asda and Sainsbury’s continue to outpace the UK grocery market while Morrisons achieved the slowest growth of the big four grocers.

Sainsbury’s recorded growth of 3.8% in the 12 weeks to September 2 ahead of wider grocery market growth of 3.3%, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Asda outperformed the market with growth of 4.5% but the grocer’s growth is now easing back as the effect of the Netto acquisition falls out of the year-on-year comparisons. 

The UK’s largest retailer Tesco saw growth of 2.8% in the period, ahead of Morrisons which recorded a 1.1% rise in total till roll.

Tesco now holds a 30.8% market share, down on the 30.9% share last year. Asda rose from 17.4% in the same period last year to 17.6%; Sainsbury’s rose from 16.3% to 16.4% while Morrisons fell from a share of 11.7% last year to 11.5% this.

Although at opposite ends of the spectrum, the upmarket and discount sectors continue to simultaneously perform well. Waitrose recorded growth of 7.8% and now hold a 4.6% market share. Aldi’s growth rocketed 26.6% while Lidl grew at 10.9%. Iceland rose 8.5% and holds a 2% market share.

The Co-op recorded a 1.5% fall in till roll and Farm Foods saw sales slide 2%.

Kantar Worldpanel director Ed Garner said: “Despite ongoing pressures, things seem to be looking up in the grocery market and shoppers are not having to trade down to the same extent as they have done over the past year.

“Sainsbury’s maintains its robust run and beats the market with 3.8% growth. This is part of a longer-term trend which has seen the retailer continue to grow its share for the past nine years. The high-profile Paralympics sponsorship will no doubt provide further support but this won’t be fully seen in the figures until next month.

“The pressure on Morrisons continues with its share slipping from 11.7% a year ago to 11.5%. However, this is to some extent inevitable, as the retailer presently offers no online ordering and currently only a small number of ‘M Local’ convenience outlets – two areas which are currently major contributors to the growth of its three main competitors.

He added: “Outside of the big four, Aldi continues to be the star performer and holds on to its all-time record share with growth of 26.6%. This is driven mainly by dramatic growth in spend levels of existing customers - up 36% over the past two years - rather than an increased number of shoppers.”

Full Kantar Worldpanel data below. Includes all expenditure through main store tills and exludes petrol and instore concessions.

  12 Weeks to 04 September 2011  12 Weeks to 02 September 2012 change
 £000s%   * £000s %   *%
Total Till Roll    30,153,360     30,791,280 2.1
 Total Grocers          22,740,200100.0%          23,490,810100.0%3.3
 Total Multiples            22,220,30097.7%            22,983,22097.8%3.4
 Tesco                7,032,66630.9%                7,226,08430.8%2.8
 Total Asda                4,039,15217.8%                4,146,12217.6%2.6
 Asda                3,966,98117.4%                4,146,12217.6%4.5
 Netto                    72,1710.3%                           -  0.0%-100.0
 Sainsbury’s                3,717,14016.3%                3,859,79216.4%3.8
 Morrisons                2,666,68611.7%                2,695,26611.5%1.1
 The Co-operative                  1,630,2287.2%                1,605,5776.8%-1.5
 Co-operative                  1,624,3547.1%                1,605,5416.8%-1.2
 Somerfield                      5,8740.0%                           360.0%-99.4
 Waitrose                   993,9324.4%                1,070,9644.6%7.8
 Aldi                   547,2262.4%                   692,9272.9%26.6
 Lidl                   586,5022.6%                   650,1752.8%10.9
 Iceland                   425,4401.9%                   461,7732.0%8.5
 Farm Foods                   136,2480.6%                   133,4830.6%-2.0
 Other Multiples                   445,0832.0%                   441,0561.9%-0.9
 Symbols & Independents                 519,8942.3%                 507,5952.2%-2.4