Grocery volumes have been subdued in recent weeks, when supermarket sales were helped by inflation.

Sales by the big grocers rose 3.8% year on year in the four weeks to February 19, according to Nielsen Scantrack data. However volume growth over the same period was only 0.7%.

The data showed that Tesco increased its market share by 0.2 percentage points to 28.1% over the 12 weeks to February 19.

Sainsbury’s overtook Asda after recording a 0.4 percentage point advance  giving it a 15.7% market share. The Walmart-owned retailer was down 0.1 percentage points to 15.5%.

Nielsen senior manager, retailer services, Mike Watkins, said: “Shoppers are feeling the squeeze. Our numbers indicate that people have begun to shop around more and are looking for savings when they visit a supermarket. 

“This is indicative of a consumer actively looking for trade-offs and we saw this behaviour a couple of years ago at the outset of the recession, when inflation was very high.”

“In this climate, it is evident that retailers remain committed to promotions with 39% of all fmcg sales by value being sold on promotion at the grocery multiples, up from 34% a year ago. 

“This is helping to drive the small growth in unit sales which otherwise would likely be flat. Promotions help reduce the impact of inflation for shoppers and remain key to maintaining footfall.”




12w/e 20/02/10 


12 w/e 19/02/11 


Value Sales % Change 

12 weeks

Co-op & S’field7.66.8-8.2