HARD-PRESSED consumers are starting to shop around more for their groceries as they feel the continuing impact of rising inflation on their personal finances.
igures this morning from research group Kantar show that grocery inflation hit 1.7pc in the 12 weeks to January 23 – the highest level since October 2020.
And there’s been a small decline too in the number of products on promotion at supermarkets, with the number down 3pc last month compared to January last year.“We’re already seeing the evidence of people starting to shop around at different retailers to try and find the best price for their weekly shop,” said Kantar retail analyst Emer Healy.
Households have seen costs for a range of products and services including electricity, fuel and food rise significantly in the past number of months. Prices here were 5pc higher in January compared to a year earlier, and up 5.7pc in December.
However, the increase recorded last month compares to a month last year when the country was in lockdown.
The latest Kantar figures also show how busier households as the pandemic fades are opting for more convenience as schedules fill up.
“We can see the impact of these busier social calendars in people’s baskets,” said Ms Healy.
“Many consumers have turned to convenience options as they juggle new routines, with an additional €14.5m spent on chilled convenience this period.”
Online grocery sales – which grew strongly during the pandemic – have also continued to gain momentum.
Kantar noted that online grocery sales saw an additional €5.4m spend last month, or by 3.8pc compared to the same month last year.
Last month, which some shoppers observe as ‘Dry January’, saw 7.6pc of Irish households buy non-alcoholic beverages.
“Non-alcoholic drinks are enjoying really strong growth and this looks set to continue following the introduction of minimum unit pricing in Ireland,” Ms Healy predicted.
In the 12 weeks to January 23, Dunnes Stores retained its position as Ireland’s biggest grocery retailer, with a 23.1pc share of the market. SuperValu had 22.2pc and Tesco had 22.1pc.Lidl had an 11.8pc of the market and Aldi had 11.6pc.
Kantar measures market share by the value of goods sold, rather than volume.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told the Dail in a written answer last week that while Ireland has a zero rate of VAT on basic food products, other food items are charged VAT at either 13.5pc or 23pc.
EU states can continue to apply a zero, or very low VAT rate on products and services where that VAT rate was in place at January 1, 1991. However, the scope of that derogation cannot be extended, he pointed out.
Under another derogation, Ireland charges the 13.5pc VAT rate on the supply of fuel, gas, oil and electricity services for both domestic and commercial users. Under EU rules, the rate cannot be reduced below 12pc.
Motor fuel, including petrol and diesel, carries a 23pc VAT rate, which under EU rules cannot be reduced.
Consumers take another hit as cost of groceries rise appeared first on maserietv.com.