The Beast from the East and Storm Emma may have caused havoc to travel across the country but the cold snap provided a huge boost to the Irish grocery market, a report by Nielsen on retail performance data indicates. Shoppers spent €9.6 million more on groceries, up by four per cent, in the week of the storms than they did the week before.
They spent an extra €15.2m ( up by six points) than in the same week a year ago. The biggest beneficiary were the convenience stores who accounted for 56 per cent of the increased spend compared to the previous week, versus 44 per cent for the multiples and discounters. Convenience stores normally account for 36 per cent of grocery sales.
“The beauty of the beast for grocery retail was that people spent more on almost every single category,” Matt Clark, Nielsen Ireland’s commercial director said. “The weather warnings and near-curfew type advice meant uncertainty. However, the growth was not in staples such as bread and milk but indulgent categories such as alcohol, confectionery and snacks.”
Alcohol was the biggest winner in terms of the incremental amount of euros spent compared to the previous week. Wine sales rose €2.6m, followed by beer at €2.4m. In terms of relative growth, categories such as stout (plus 37 per cent) and cider (up by 30 per cent) also faired well. Frozen food was next in line (up by €2.2 million) as shoppers stocked up.
The growth rate in relative terms was plus 28 per cent, almost ten times frozen foods’ current annual growth (three per cent). Within frozen foods, pizza (up 59 per cent) and garlic bread (plus 47 per cent) saw the largest relative rises. Another big winner were fire lighting products, which saw a €1m incremental rise in sales – or a 63 per cent jump.