More than half of UK consumers shopped at discount supermarkets in the last three months, according to new research.

Kantar Worldpanel, which analysed the purchasing habits of 30,000 households in Britain, found 50.1% of consumers stepped into either Aldi or Lidl during the 12 weeks to 8 December.

The figure represents a 4% increase when compared to a year ago (46.1%).

"Both Aldi and Lidl have continued to record double-digit growth and are successfully broadening their shopper base with half of all British households visiting one of them during the latest period," said Chris Longbottom, director at Kantar.

Kantar said Aldi boasted a record 4% of the grocery market having increased its share for nearly every 12-week period since the end of 2010 and Lidl retained its record share of 3.1% which it reached during the summer.

The researcher suggested value continued to be a powerful incentive for the British shopper, a fact that is further highlighted by Farmfoods which, while still a relatively small player in the market, has grown its sales by 36.6% compared with last year.

Longbottom added: "At the other end of the market Waitrose has performed strongly with 6.7% growth. Based on past patterns, it is likely to further boost its market share over the busy Christmas period, as is Iceland which traditionally performs well with its party food offering."

Kantar said elsewhere all of the "big four grocers" and the Co-operative have lost market share this period.

Among this group, the best performer continues to be Sainsbury's although the year-on-year growth of 1.8% was insufficient to match the market growth of 2.8%.

The report also found Tesco accounted for 29.9% of sales in the latest period, Asda 16.9%, Sainsbury's 16.8% and Morrisons 11.6%.