UK results highlight grocery sector resilience as consumers revert to some pre-recessionary behaviours

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 24th June 2009

The latest TNS Worldpanel grocery market share figures in the UK show the defensive sector continuing to ride out the recession and growing strongly at 6.5%.

There are several signs that shoppers have adopted a more measured approach to the recession and have started to revert to pre-recession behaviour – to an extent. In particular, the stellar growth of discount supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl – which has been seen in Australia with Aldi – has tailed off and both outlets saw their rate of growth eclipsed this period by some of the larger chains. Additionally, Waitrose – which is considered more upmarket than their main rivals – has enjoyed a considerable ‘bounce’ with annual growth reaching 7.0%.

During the height of economic concern late last year and early this year the figures from TNS supported the notion that discount grocers would be the major winner from a global recession. However, signifying the ‘green shoots’ that have appeared, the two main discount grocers in the UK have only just outpaced the growth of the sector at large despite coming from a low base (8.1% average over year to June compared to 6.5%).