IRISH GROCERY sales were worth €3.1 billion during the 12 weeks leading up to 26 December 2021, according to latest figures from research group Kantar.
This represents a market growth of 10.9% compared with the same period in 2019, though compared to last year it was down by 5.2% as people enjoyed more freedom to spend money in restaurants and bars.
€1.1 billion passed through tills during December alone, an increase of €141 million compared with 2019 or equivalent to an extra €65 per household.
Dunnes Stores retained the number one spot as Ireland’s largest retailer, securing 23.2% of the market. SuperValu and Tesco followed with shares of 22.2% each, while Lidl and Aldi accounted for 11.7% and 11.6% respectively.
With household mixing allowed this year, the Irish public geared up for a larger Christmas celebrating with friends and family, leading to an extra €3.1 million being spent on Christmas dinner.
Whole turkey sales went up by €1.9 million, however Brussel sprouts sales dipped by 1.4%, with only three-fifths of Irish households purchasing them.
Other festive foods such as Christmas biscuits, cheese and confectionary, increased by €10.5 million this year than last December.
Homegrown Irish brands were the order of the day and standouts included Brennans bread and Keogh’s crisps, which saw sales rise by 6.6% and 34.3% respectively.
Premium own label sales also increased to a record-breaking €58 million over December, €604,000 more than in 2020.
No-alcohol and low-alcohol options had a strong performance as the value of the market rose by 12.2% over the year.
"Young people especially have been buying these products and the sector really has potential to grow this year, particularly as it will be boosted by its exemption from minimum unit pricing and separated stocking rules," Kantar said.
Nearly 17% of Irish households purchased groceries digitally over the latest 12 weeks, with sales soaring by 9.3%, and Kantar believes that online shopping "is far from reaching its ceiling".