Sainsbury’s has outmuscled its big four rivals to record the strongest sales growth and blockade its market share amid attacks from Waitrose.

Sainsbury’s recorded 4.9% sales growth and grew market share by 0.1% to 16.5% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to August 18, Kantar Worldpanel reported.

The grocer has enjoyed strong sales momentum after its sponsorship of the Paralympics last year and has moved swiftly to capitalise on shoppers seeking convenience shopping.

The number of its Local shops will this year overtake its supermarket store count. It currently has 541 small stores and 591 large shops.

Sainsbury’s growth comes as archrival Tesco’s share fell to 30.2% from 30.9% last year; Asda’s share dropped from 17.5% to 17.1% year-on-year while Morrisons held an 11.3% share, down from 11.5% last year.

Waitrose continued its offensive to steal shoppers from larger rivals, growing sales 9.1% in the quarter and upping its share from 4.6% to 4.8% year-on-year.

Waitrose managing director Mark Price told Retail Week earlier this year that it is nabbing spend from the big four. “Most of the new shoppers are coming from Sainsbury’s, then Tesco, Morrisons and Asda,” he said.

Aldi continued its strong growth, notching a 31.9% increase in sales, while Lidl’s sales rose 14.9%. Iceland’s sales grew 4.9%, Farm Foods 25.3% and The Co-op recorded lacklustre growth of 0.1%.

Kantar Worldpanel director John Coll said: “Sainsbury’s benefitted from its support of the Paralympics last year and its growth has continued since then.” 

Kantar said the hot weather has had a positive effect for many categories with ice cream sales up 21%, sun care products by 37% and hayfever remedies up by 37% compared with a year ago.

Nielsen data, also released today, reflected Kantar’s trends. It showed Sainsbury’s recorded 5.1% sales grwoth, Tesco 3.9%, Asda 2.2% and Morrisons 1.6% in the 12 weeks to August 17.

Aldi recorded 23.7% growth, Waitrose 9.9%, Lidl 7.5%, Marks & Spencer 6.8%, Iceland 6.1% and The Co-op 1.7%, Nielsen said.