British grocery sales have slowed by 0.8% in the last year, though smaller retailers have enjoyed stronger growth. 

The figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 19 July 2015, showed slow growth in the market, led by The Co-operative.

The convenience retailer is slightly ahead of the curve, with a 1% sales increase, while its overall share remains 6.3% - the same as last year.

Despite a fall in sales of 0.3%, Sainsbury’s has edged its market share of 16.5% ahead of Asda, which now stands at 16.4%.Sainsbury’s has returned to its position as the nation’s second-largest supermarket for the first time since January - boosted by non-food sales, its Sainsbury’s Local outlets and faster market growth in the south of the country.

Growth has accelerated at Waitrose, where sales have risen by 3%.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “The continued slow growth of the overall market can be explained by minimal volume growth and lower like-for-like prices, both as a result of cheaper commodity prices and the fierce competition between supermarkets.

“Comparable groceries are now 1.6% cheaper than a year ago, meaning prices have been falling since September 2014, although they are projected to start rising again by early 2016.”

Aldi grew by 16.6%, while Lidl saw growth of 11.3%, meaning both have moved to new market share highs of 5.6% and 4.0% respectively.

Morrisons was the best performer among the big four, although sales fell back by 0.1%. Meanwhile, sales at Tesco fell by 0.6% and at Asda by 2.7%.