German discounters Aldi and Lidl continue to gobble up UK grocery market share, demonstrates the latest Kantar Worldpanel data. This is worrying for the 'Big Four', whose combined market share has fallen to its lowest level in a decade.

Click here to view Kantar's latest grocery share figures covering the 12 weeks ending 29 March. One of the research firm's key findings is that Aldi has become Britain's sixth biggest supermarket with a 5.3% share, a development that will concern new leadership at the three major quoted supermarkets. The German discount chain's sales skipped 16.8% higher in the period, a rate of growth larger rivals would kill for, albeit slowing relative to recent Aldi trends. Teutonic rival Lidl's sales moved 12.1% higher too, taking its market share to 3.7%, up from 3.4% year-on-year.

Fraser McKevitt, Kantar's head of retail and consumer insight, says 'the changing structure of Britain's supermarket landscape is illustrated by two facts. Firstly, the so called discounters Aldi and Lidl now command a combined 9% share of the market. In 2012 the same two retailers only accounted for 5.4% of grocery sales. Secondly, the 72.8% share taken by the biggest four retailers is now at the lowest level in a decade.'

For the 12 week period, Kantar recorded deflation of 2% (a 19th successive fall in grocery inflation) amid ongoing disruption caused by the discounters and a sector-wide price war in response. UK shoppers aren't complaining though, as the groceries in their baskets are now 2% cheaper than they were a year ago.

Web chart - Kantar - Apr 15

Its not all doom and gloom for the established players mind. Having grown sales 0.2%, the rate at which Sainsbury's (SBRY) is losing market share slowed, down 0.1% to 16.4%. CEO Mike Coupe still has his work cut out, though investors are encouraged and bid the shares up 4.1p to 273.5p. Market leader Tesco (TSCO), off 1.25p at 249.75p, grew sales 0.3% as 'Drastic' Dave Lewis' turnaround strategy gains traction, though Asda and Morrisons (MRW) both suffered sales declines.

Issue Date: 08 Apr 2015