The figures, published today from Kantar, show year-on-year supermarket sales growth of 1.4% during the 12 weeks to 24 March 2019.
This year’s late Easter, and the fact that Mother’s Day falls outside the reported period, contributed to the market growing at its slowest rate since March 2018 and trimmed an estimated 0.5 percentage points off the overall growth rate.
Despite Easter being a full month away, British shoppers have already splashed out £146 million on Easter eggs this year and 42% of households have bought hot cross buns. Some have used the longer lead up to Easter to embark on a spring clean, with sales of carpet cleaners up by 18% and accessories such as cloths and sponges up by 9% compared with this time last year.
Meanwhile, scrutiny over single-use plastics continues. Consumers are applying pressure on the retailers when it comes to packaging and making their feelings known in the fruit and vegetable aisles – 21% of fruit, vegetable and salad items were sold loose over the past 12 weeks, with sales growing twice as quickly as packaged produce.