Demand for ice cream helps heat up supermarket sales

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Booming sales of ice-cream, gin and cider during the heatwave have combined with a jump in inflation to deliver the biggest rise in supermarket sales revenue in more than five years.

The latest United Kingdom market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel have shown that all major supermarket groups are now in growth, with the data firm reporting the highest sales growth for the industry for five years.

It represents a sharp turnaround from the same period previous year, when sales were down 0.2pc.

J Sainsbury PLC's (SBRY.LN) market share in the 12 weeks ended June 18 fell to 16.0%, from 16.3%, while sales rose 3.1% to GBP4.25 billion.

"At this rate, that's an extra 133 pounds ($169) on the average household's annual shopping bill, or the equivalent of seven additional shopping trips a year", Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said in the statement. That isn't to say Asda's own label offer is struggling - its Extra Special premium line and recently launched Farm Stores range contributed to a 1.4% increase in private label sales.

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Supermarkets are also looking to roll out dynamic pricing within five years, according to a report in The Telegraph on the back of advance tech "e-prices" that can be altered by the retailer automatically to change prices at peak time pricing. "Overall sales rose by 2.2%, although its market share fell half a percentage point year-on-year to 15.1%", said McKevitt. Meanwhile, Iceland, which is up 7.4%, has successfully posted 15 periods of increasing sales.

The data from Kantar Worldpanel showed that Lidl was the fastest growing supermarket in Britain with an 18.8 per cent uplift in sales, pipping fellow discounter Aldi on 18.7 per cent.

Regarding online, the United Kingdom retail scene was still trying to make sense of what Amazon's acquisition of organic retailer WholeFoods could mean for the United Kingdom market, but McKevitt pointed out that although Ocado's growth was similar to the online growth at 10.7%, it had taken over a decade to get to its current market position of 1.3%.

Both retailers continue to gain market share, holding 5% and 6.9% respectively. The retail giant will be keen to increase its share of the grocery sector, where it now holds less than 1% of online sales.

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