Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have recorded strong sales growth as grocers not implicated in the horse meat scandal drew custom.

Sainsbury’s recorded 6.2% growth in the 12 weeks to March 17 ahead of wider grocery market growth of 3.9%, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.

Waitrose’s sales increased by 12.5% while Morrisons’ sales decline slowed to -1% from -1.3% in last month’s Kantar data.

Tesco reported 1.1% growth and Asda 3.4%. Tesco’s overall share of the grocery market slipped to 29.4% from 30.2% in the same period last year.

Aldi reported the strongest growth in the grocery market with 30.8% growth and now holds a 3.3% share.  

Kantar Worldpanel retail analyst Fraser McKevitt said: “Austerity and provenance are the key factors behind the varying retailer performances this month. Continued pressure on household budgets has helped Aldi, Lidl and Iceland to record market beating growths while Waitrose and Sainsbury’s have managed to mostly avoid adverse media coverage from the horsemeat scandal. 

“Looking ahead, Tesco has responded with its Price Promise promotion which delivers coupons to shoppers at the tills and Morrisons has announced plans to plug its home-delivery gap during 2013. These strategies are expected to help boost the retailers’ performances going forward.”

See table below right for full market share data.

Kantar Worldpanel communications director Ed Garner on the figures