Lidl has overtaken Waitrose to become Britain’s seventh-largest supermarket by share of the groceries market, according to the latest industry data.
The German discounter has a record high share of 5.2 per cent compared to 5.1 per cent at middle-class favourite Waitrose. A year ago, Waitrose was one percentage point ahead of Lidl.
It comes as Lidl revealed its sales were up 18.9 per cent over the last three months compared to the same period last year, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel.
Lidl boom: Latest industry data shows it is now the seventh biggest supermarket in Britain by market share
Kantar explains that Lidl is growing sales 40 per cent faster with families than with households without children.
Families tend to buy more items each time they shop, so strong growth with this demographic has helped Lidl to increase its average basket size year-on-year.
As a result, 10million households visited the retailer’s expanding network of stores during the past 12 weeks, with alcohol and fresh produce performing particularly well.
Furthermore, its rival Aldi has cemented its spot in 5th spot ahead of Co-op.
It has a market share of seven per cent, now just 3.4 percentage points behind Morrisons, closing the gap by one percentage point compared to last year.
Kantar says the German discounter saw sales rise 17.2 per cent in the last year.
All of Britain’s big four grocers – market leader Tesco , Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – increased sales in the period but still lost market share to discounters, who, unlike the big four, continue to open new stores.
Market share: Tesco is top by a large margin, followed by Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons
But Mr McKevitt adds: ‘Britain’s biggest grocers managed to grow sales for the fifth consecutive period, a run of collective success not seen since 2013.
‘However, this welcome period of sustained growth hasn’t been enough to entirely offset pressure from the discounters.
‘The big four now account for just 69.3 per cent of the UK grocery market – down from 76.3 per cent five years ago – and that looks set to fall further in the coming months.’
Kantar says Tesco sales were up three per cent, Morrisons 2.6 per cent, Sainsbury’s two per cent and Asda 1.4 per cent.
Waitrose’s market share held steady at 5.1 per cent as it managed to increase sales by 2.8 per cent year on year, continuing the unbroken run of growth the grocer has enjoyed since March 2009.
Sales of branded goods were up seven per cent annually at Waitrose at a time when many retailers are focusing more on their own label lines.
After more than two years in growth, Co-op’s sales declined by 0.4 per cent as its market share fell to 6.3 per cent – down 0.3 percentage points compared to this time last year.
This dip is at least partly attributable to the retailer’s sale of nearly 300 of its stores to convenience chain McColl’s.
Meanwhile online specialist Ocado increased sales by 12.6 per cent, now holding 1.4 per cent of the overall grocery market.
Waitrose: The supermarket chain has seen unbroken sales growth since 2009
Grocery inflation was 3.3 per cent for the 12 weeks versus 3.2 per cent in last month’s data set, indicating that the food shop is getting more expensive.
At the current rate, price increases could add a further £138 to the average household’s annual grocery bill, with the price of butter and fish most affected.
Overall supermarket sales grew by four per cent annually, although Kantar says disappointing weather hit summer favourites hard during the past month.
Ice cream sales are down nine per cent as consumers huddled indoors, while sales of burgers slumped by a quarter.
In contrast, sausages managed to escape the summer downturn thanks to a growing taste for posh bangers – a third purchased during the month were from premium own label lines, as retailers persuaded shoppers that sausages should be enjoyed beyond the barbecue.