Aldi and Lidl, the German discounters, hit a combined market share of 10% for the first time, according to a Kantar Worldpanel report.

The report, comparing figures for the 12 weeks to 9 November 2014 to the 12 weeks to 8 November 2015, also showed Sainsbury’s had experienced sales growth of 1.5% from £4.08bn to £4.14bn, the only Big 4 supermarket to do so. Its market share rose 0.2% to 16.6% and it pushed ahead of Asda to become the Britain’s second-largest supermarket.

The other three members of the Big 4 saw a fall in sales, with Asda hit especially hard with a 3.5% drop from £4.27bn to £4.12bn. Tesco suffered a -2.5% fall from £7.15bn to £6.97bn and Morrisons a -1.7% fall from £2.76bn to £2.72bn.

The figures showed that, despite high-profile Christmas advertising, the market remains difficult with overall grocery sales only rising 0.5%. Deflation continues to make its presence felt, with prices down 1.7% for the 12 weeks to 8 November 2015 due to supermarkets trying to catch up with the low prices of the discounters and deflation in key areas such as eggs, bread, butter, crisps and fresh poultry.

Modest growth

Waitrose and The Co-operative saw modest growth during the period, with sales rising 2.7% and 1.5% respectively. However, Waitrose was unable to take back the position of Britain’s sixth largest supermarket as Aldi cemented its new position with 16.5% growth from £1.21bn to £1.41bn.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “If you look back as recently as 2012, Aldi and Lidl only held a 5% share of the market and it had previously taken them nine years to double their combined share from 2.5%.

“In the last 12 weeks the two retailers have attracted an additional million shoppers compared with last year, while average spend per trip has increased by 4% to £18.85, which is 78p ahead of the total retailer average. The discounters show no sign of stopping and, with plans to open hundreds of stores between them, they’ll noticeably widen their reach to the British population.”