The escalating grocery sector price war led to the market growing at its lowest level for 11 years as the discounters share steal continued.

The market grew at just 1.9% over the 12 weeks to April 27, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel, as the major grocers started price cutting to contend with the rise of Aldi and Lidl.

Kantar Worldpanel director Edward Garner said: “We’re now seeing the big four moving away from ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ promotions and toward everyday low prices – with Tesco, Morrisons and Asda all announcing price cuts this month.

“The proportion of sales on promotion currently stands at 45% among the big four.  By contrast, the figure at Aldi is just 3%.  Tesco now states ‘Prices down and staying down’, Asda features ‘Price lock’, Morrisons introduced ‘I’m Cheaper – everyday low prices’ and the Co-operative has adopted ‘Fair and Square’ pricing in a move to give shoppers lower everyday prices with greater transparency.”

Asda was the only big four grocer that did not lose share in the 12 weeks to April 27. Tesco and Morrisons, which both recorded sales declines, were the worse hit with market share falling 1.3% and 0.6% respectively.

Meanwhile, the discounters share continued to thrive, with Aldi’s soaring 1.2% year on year to 4.7% over the period, while Lidl’s rose from 3% to 3.5%.

Aldi’s sales soared 36.1% over the period, an all-time record for the retailer, while Lidl’s 20.9% growth is its highest since August 2004.

Waitrose’s share rose 0.2% year on year to 5.1% over the period.

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