Sainsbury’s was the only one of the big four grocers to increase its market share in the 12 weeks to June 9 as its rivals suffered in the face of discount and premium growth.

Sainsbury’s market share rose to 16.7% in the 12 week period, up from 16.6% last year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Its sales growth was 3.5% which represented a slowdown from 5.6% in the 12 weeks to May 12 but was ahead of the grocery market average of 3% growth.

Tesco recorded a dip in market share in the most recent 12 week period to 30.5% from 31% last year. Asda recorded a 16.9% share, down from 17.2% while Morrisons now holds an 11.6% share of the market, down from 11.8% last year.

Tesco’s sales grew 1.3%, Morrisons 1.2% and Asda 1.1% during the period.

The polarisation of the grocery market continued with Waitrose at the premium end of the market and the discounters simultaneously performing strongly.

Aldi set another all-time record share of 3.6% – an increasingly frequent occurrence for the retailer which has averaged 30% annual sales growth throughout 2013. 

Lidl and Waitrose both held on to their record shares of 3% and 4.9% reported last month respectively, with Waitrose recording sales growth of 10.4% – well over three times the market average.

Farm Foods enjoyed strong sales growth of 13.9% however its market share remained flat at 0.6%.

Kantar Worldpanel retail analyst Fraser McKevitt said: “The continuing polarisation of the grocery market poses a difficult question for the big four retailers – how to make their offer appealing in an increasingly squeezed market. Asda recently announced it is going toe-to-toe with Aldi on the price of fresh food and produce, demonstrating its growing concern with the threat from the discounter.”

Retail Week revealed last week that Asda has slashed the price of certain goods to entice its shoppers away from doing a secondary shop at Aldi.

He added: “Savvy shoppers are looking for a good deal, but Britain’s largest supermarkets should not lose sight of the other attributes consumers are looking for in their grocer – quality products, clear provenance and an enjoyable in-store experience. The big four will have to keep an eye on maintaining these standards, even when competing on price, to make sure that they offer genuine value for money and not just cheap goods.”