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German discount chains Aldi and Lidl were the standout winners over the Christmas trading period, while Sainsbury's also enjoyed a good festive season, research published on 12 January has shown.
According to figures released by Kantar Worldpanel, the research group that gathers and analyses data from every UK supermarket, in the three months to 3 January, Aldi and Lidl saw sales rise 13.3% and 18.5% respectively.
Among the "big four" chains, Sainsbury's was the only one to increase its share of consumer spending, which grew 0.8% year-on-year. The FTSE 100 group, which will publish quarterly results later this week, also successfully brought its total share of the overall market back to 5.2%, Kantar added.
Overall, customers enjoyed a good Christmas, as cheaper vegetables and poultry products allowed consumers to spend less than the previous year.
"Shoppers reaped the benefit of falling prices this Christmas, with groceries 1.8% cheaper than last year," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.
"The amount spent on a typical Christmas dinner fell even faster – down by 2.2% – mainly due to cheaper poultry and traditional vegetable trimmings. Alcohol sales increased thanks to a surge in popularity for sparkling wines including champagne and prosecco, which increased in value by 11%.
The picture painted by the research was somewhat gloomier at Tesco, also scheduled to reveal its quarterly results later this week, and Asda, which saw consumer spending over the period decline 2.7% and 3.5% respectively compared with a year ago.
Iceland reported a 4.6% year-on-year drop in consumer spending, while the Co-operative and Waitrose posted a 1.4% and 1.5% increase in sales respectively, although the latter reported a 1.4% decline in like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 2 January.
Morrisons, meanwhile, saw consumer spending decline 2.6% year-on-year in the Christmas quarter and said on 12 January that its total sales excluding petrol fell 1.2% in the nine weeks to 3 January, while like-for-like sales edged 0.2% higher.