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Poultry consumption falls as online grocery sales surge in the UK

Data shows that grocery sales in Britain spiked by 18.9 percent in the four weeks leading to 14 June, bolstered by online grocery sales and convenience stores during the COVID-19 lockdown.

23 June 2020, at 10:56am

Market researcher Kantar calculated online grocery sales as rising 91 percent year-on-year over the four weeks. According to Reuters, this reflects a change in consumer behaviour, with nearly one in five UK households purchasing groceries over the internet.

Kantar’s analysis indicated that convenience stores, either independent retailers or smaller formats of supermarket giants accounted for 14.7 percent of all sales in the four-week period.

Nielsen, a rival market researcher, also reported stronger than expected performance in convenience stores.

“We’re still shopping less frequently but shoppers are gradually changing their behaviour,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.

He noted that households made 77 million fewer trips to the supermarket in the latest four weeks compared with last year - 19 million more than in May, reflecting the slight easing of government restrictions.

Kantar said online grocer Ocado (OCDO.L), the Co-operative Group (42TE.L), which has a network of local stores, and frozen food specialist Iceland, were the standout performers over the 12 weeks to 14 June with year-on-year sales growth of 42.2 percent, 34.5 percent and 31.4 percent respectively.

Of Britain’s four major grocers, Kantar said market leader Tesco was the strongest performer with growth of 12.1 percent, followed by No. 4 Morrisons (MRW.L) on 10.5 percent and No. 2 Sainsbury’s on 10.2 percent.

Kantar said UK grocery inflation was 4.0 percent for the 12-week period, with prices rising fastest in markets such as bacon, sausages and cooked meats while falling in poultry, bread and eggs.

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