Grocery sales at UK supermarkets received a boost by warm weather in August, figures released on Tuesday (23 August 2016) by market researcher Kantar Worldpanel showed. According to the industry body, sales of supermarket groceries rose by 0.3% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 14 August, recording the fastest rise since March this year.

"The sun's eventual appearance was a welcome boost to the market after a delayed start to the summer," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

"Frozen confectionery sales grew by 23% in the last month, while chilled drinks increased by 10%."

Ice-cream was the fastest-growing category across Iceland stores, driving sales at the supermarket up by 2.8% compared with the corresponding period in 2015.

German discount chains Lidl and Aldi again showed the largest gains in market share, recording sales growth of 12.2% and 10.4% respectively.

The picture, however, was gloomier among Britain's big four supermarkets, which all registered a decline in sales over the period,

Tesco was the best performer, recording a sales drop of 0.4% year-on-year, while Sainsbury's and Morrisons saw sales fall 0.6% and 1.8% respectively. Asda, which last week reported its worst quarterly performance on record, posted a 5.5% drop in sales.

McKevitt added promotional sales fell to their lowest level since September 2010.

" Fewer promotions doesn't mean consumers are paying more for their shopping but does reflect the renewed focus on own-label lines which is visible across the market," he explained.

Meanwhile, the report also showed that grocery price inflation remained negative, with a representative basket of goods 1.3% cheaper than in the corresponding period last year.

Kantar Worldpanel August figures
Lidl and Aldi record double digit growth in sales in the period as the big four remained under pressure. Kantar Worldpanel