Supermarkets wrap up busiest Christmas since 2019

3rd January 2024 | Jack Oliver

Supermarkets saw their busiest Christmas period since before the pandemic, with average household spend reaching an all-time high.

According to data from Kantar, Britons made 488 million trips to supermarkets in the four weeks to Christmas Eve – 12 million more than in 2022 and the highest festive figure since 2019.

The data found that a record £13.7bn was spent in supermarkets, with an average household spend of £477 for the month an increase of £28 on 2022 and an all-time high. Total take-home grocery sales grew in value by 7.0%, whilst the number of items bought increased by 2%.

Friday 22nd December was found to be the busiest shopping day, with over 25 million trips made and £803m spent in physical stores – 85% more than on the average Friday in 2023. The online market share remained at 11.6%, with nearly a fifth of households making an order.

During the period, Sainsbury’s reached its highest market share since December 2019 at 15.8%, with sales increasing by 9.3%. Tesco, the country’s biggest supermarket, gained 0.1 percentage points (pp) to reach a 27.6% market share, with sales increasing by 7.5%.

Lidl and Aldi have continued to be the fastest-growing supermarkets year-on-year, with their sales increasing 13.8% and 9.9% respectively. Lidl’s market share rose by 0.5p to 7.7%, whilst Aldi’s grew 0.2pp to 9.3%.

Co-op’s market share increased by 3.8% from 2022 to 5.4%. Meanwhile Waitrose holds 4.6% of the market, seeing a 1% rise in the number of shoppers over the 12-week period.  Iceland’s sales grew by 2.9%, with its market share now at 2.4%, whilst Asda accelerated sales growth to 3.4% to control 13.6% of the market. Spending at Morrisons grew by 3.2%, with share now standing at 8.8%.  

During the period, online purchases grew slightly ahead of the market versus last year, up by 7.5%.  Spending at online-only retailer Ocado increased by 5.5%, however its share of the market remained at 1.7%.  


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