Supermarket sales boosted by World Cup and sun

England football fansImage source, AFP

Supermarket sales have grown at their fastest rate this year with demand stimulated by the World Cup and the warm weather, research suggests.

Market research firm Kantar Worldpanel said food and drink sales in the 12 weeks to 15 July rose by 3.6% from a year earlier.

In the week England played Colombia and Sweden, alcohol sales hit a record for a week outside of Christmas and Easter.

Tesco still has the biggest share of the grocery market at 27.6%.

That, however, was down slightly from last year.

Aldi, Lidl and the Co-op all saw their market share grow. Aldi now has a record market share of 7.5%, up from 7% last year, while Lidl has a share of 5.4%, up from 5.1%.

Kantar said the Co-op was helped by more people shopping locally.

The rest of the big High Street chains saw their market share remain the same or fall back slightly.

Asda, Iceland and Morrisons held sales while Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose both saw their market share fall back.

Home delivery food service Ocado saw its market share grow to 1.2%

Barbeque binge

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "Over the past month, football-frenzied customers visited supermarkets an extra 13 million times as they hurried to stock up on World Cup-viewing essentials, with alcohol in particular the stand-out winner.

"Christmas and Easter aside, the week that the England football team played both Colombia and Sweden saw more spent on alcohol than ever before - a colossal £287m."

The long hot summer has also lead to a sharp rise in barbeque dining, over the past month, sales of firelighters and fresh burgers jumped by 47% and 30%.

Keith Richardson, from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said the data showed where the UK was spending its money.

"With the heatwave and sporting events in Russia and Wimbledon keeping shoppers away from the High Street, it was the grocers who benefited as shoppers who were spending a little less elsewhere could afford to splash out on strawberries, burgers and beers.

"With the trend towards staycations and a weaker pound still attracting foreign visitors, supermarkets will be confident of keeping this good run going over the summer."