New figures release by Kantar Worldpanel show slow but steady growth for British supermarkets. After a bad festive season, overall sales have now increased by 0.8% compared with a year ago, with stronger growth being enjoyed by the smaller retailers.

The Co-operative supermarket has returned to growth for the first time since July 2014, increasing its sales by 1.0% and retaining its 6.3% market share.

The Co-operative has returned to growth for the first time since July 2014, increasing its sales by 1.0%. While their growth is slightly ahead of the market, its overall share of 6.3% has remained the same as last year.

Sainsbury’s sales fell 0.3% but has edged its market share of 16.5% ahead of Asda, and has returned to its position as the nation’s second largest supermarket for the first time since January.

Customers at Waitrose have taken advantage of the recently introduced ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ initiative, which has pushed their market share up to 5.0% and sales up 3.0%.

Fraser McKevitt, head of consumer and retail insight at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “Grocery inflation now stands at -1.6% for the 12 week period ending 19 July 2015 and comparable groceries are now 1.6% cheaper than a year ago. Prices have been falling since September 2014, although they are projected to start rising again by early 2016.”

Supermarket growth also coincides with figures released today by the Office of National Statistics, showing UK economic growth has accelerated in the second quarter of the year, helped by a big jump in oil and gas production.

The UK’s economy grew by an estimated 0.7% in the April to June period, compared with growth of 0.4% in the first quarter of the year.

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