The grocery market returned to “marginal growth” in the 12 weeks ending December 7 after shoppers put more items in their baskets.

The market grew 0.1% in the period, following a “historic” first ever decline across grocery in the last period, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.

“This is thanks to shoppers putting slightly more in their baskets compared with the same time last year,” Kantar said.

However all the big four grocers suffered sales and market share falls, while Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl continued their march, growing on both fronts.

Asda’s sales fell 1% in the period and its share dropped from 16.9% to 16.7%, although it was the best performing of the big four.

Tesco’s sales fell 2.7% and its share dropped from 29.9% to 29.1%. Kantar noted that was the embattled grocer’s best result since June, “showing some limited signs of stabilisation for the retailer”.

Sainsbury’s sales declined 1.8% and its share fell from 16.8% to 16.5%. Morrisons’ sales slumped 3.2% and its share reduced from 11.6% to 11.2%.

Aldi’s share climbed from 4% to 4.9% on sales up 22.3%. Lidl’s sales were up 18.3% and its share increased from 3.1% to 3.7%.

Waitrose too continued its growth spurt with sales up 6%. Its share was up to 5% from 4.7%.

Kantar Worldpanel head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said: “Britain’s supermarket price war is ramping up ahead of the all-important Christmas period. Retailers are selling more items on promotion, leading to like-for-like prices falling by 0.7% compared with this time last year. 

“Cheaper groceries are an early Christmas present for shoppers, saving them £182m in the past 12 weeks alone but this puts pressure on the supermarkets. We expect grocery deflation to continue well into 2015 as the price war rumbles on.

“At the discount end of the market the two German retailers Aldi and Lidl have reached a record combined market share this period with 8.6% of the market, up 1.5 percentage points over the past year. Aldi recorded the fastest-growing sales of any retailer at 22.3% and is followed closely behind by Lidl with 18.3% sales growth.” 

 12 weeks to December 8 201312 Weeks to December 7 2014
Total till roll34,627,590 34,779,250 
Total grocers26,013,970100.00%26,031,760100.00%
Total multiples25,492,35097.99%25,526,24098.06%
The Co-operative  1,607,2566.18%1,581,0696.07%
Other multiples516,4381.99%568,4292.18%
Symbols & independents521,6152.01%505,5211.94%

*Percentage share of total grocers