Sales of frozen burgers have plummeted 43% as the horse meat scandal damaged consumer confidence in the products, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.
Frozen ready meals declined by 13% in the four weeks to February 17 as lines were withdrawn and consumers shunned products.
Tesco’s market share stood at 29.7% in the 12 weeks to February 17 down from 30.1% last year and 30.4% in the 12 weeks to January 20 reported last month. Kantar attributed the drop to a money-off promotion run last year and not this year, rather than as a result of the horse meat scandal.
Tesco’s sales grew 2.4% in the latest 12-week period, behind the grocery market average at 3.7%.
Sainsbury’s, which has not been implicated in the horse meat crisis, was the strongest performer of the big four grocers as its sales grew 4.6% and it attained a 17% market share.
Kantar data leaked to Retail Week shows Tesco’s sales fell 0.4% in the four weeks to February 17 while Morrisons’ performance improved to a 0.7% fall. Asda grew 5% while Sainsbury’s grew 5.8% in the shorter period.
Kantar Worldpanel director Edward Garner said: “The issue has so far only affected the performance of individual markets rather than where consumers are choosing to shop.
“It might seem natural to attribute [Tesco’s market share] decline to the horsemeat contamination; however, Tesco undertook heavy promotions this time last year, where consumers received a £5 voucher when they spent £40, and not repeating this offer will have adversely affected its share.”
He added: “Waitrose and Aldi deliver all-time record shares this period of 4.8% and 3.3% respectively indicating that market polarisation and the ‘two nations’ consumer climate continues. Iceland records 10.1% growth confirming that the frozen food category as a whole remains robust.”
The total grocery market is growing at an annual rate of 3.7% behind grocery price inflation of 4.3%.
Full Kantar Worldpanel data below:
|Total Till Roll - GB Consumer Spend|
|12 weeks to 19 February 2012||12 Weeks to 17 February 2013||% Change|
|£000s||% **||£000s||% **||%|
|Total Till Roll||34,356,190||35,165,930||2.4|
|Symbols & Indies||504,096||2.0%||523,432||2.0%||3.8|