Christmas seems to have come early for bosses at Bradford-based supermarket chain Morrisons, after the company witnessed a massive increase in sales of The Best, its premium own label range.
The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks ending December 4 2016, reveal a particularly strong performance for premium own label ranges in the run up to the festive period.
Shoppers are spending 13 per cent more on these lines than they did last year against a backdrop of continued slow growth for supermarkets overall, where year-on-year sales increased by just 0.7 per cent, Kantar said.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Top-tier private label finds its way into 12 per cent of shopping trips, with 88 per cent of consumers now buying from these lines.
“In the past 12 weeks, 6.3 per cent of own label purchases were from premium lines such as Tesco Finest and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference, well ahead of the 5.7 per cent recorded last year. We’ve seen particularly impressive performances from Morrisons’ The Best, which saw sales increase by 35 per cent, and Asda Extra Special which grew by 15 per cent.
“Over Christmas it’s likely that premium lines will record their highest ever sales figures as even more shoppers trade up to treat their loved ones.
“Despite widespread anticipation of higher prices shoppers are yet to feel the pinch of rising inflation, with a typical basket of everyday groceries 0.1 per cent cheaper than this time last year. However, some categories are beginning to see prices increase, with fresh fish up 5.3 per cent year-on-year, chilled ready meals up 2.3 per cent and beer up 2.1 per cent.
“Prices are still falling overall despite shoppers now spending less on promoted items than they did this time last year. Some 36.9 per cent of spending was on offers during the past 12 weeks, down from nearly 40 per cent in the 12 weeks to December 2015. Promotional activity has dipped across all five of the biggest retailers, reflecting ongoing efforts to simplify shopping and offer more of an everyday low pricing model, which relies far less heavily on promotions.”