Dry January has seen record engagement, with 7.6% of households buying a non-alcoholic drink, an increase of 5.8% from 2018, new figures show.
However, the impact of ‘Veganuary’ was more moderate, with Irish shoppers spending €481,000 less on frozen vegetarian items than at this time last year.
Irish take-home grocery sales are down 4.5% but remain 11.2% higher than two years ago, figures from Kantar for the 12 weeks to January 23 show.
Grocery price inflation has hit 1.7%, the highest level since October 2020. In response, consumers are shopping for the best deals as the number of promotional items drops by 3 % compared to last January.
Online grocery sales remain strong, with shoppers spending €5.4m more on digital orders than in the same period last year.
Convenience Cooling Options
Senior Retail Analyst Emer Healy said with busier social calendars, consumers have turned to convenience options, with an additional €14.5m spent on chilled convenience items in this period.
Sales of men’s deodorants and skin care products have also soared 3.8% and 6.5%, respectively.
But some lifestyle changes from COVID-19 have remained, as delivery services continue to grow, at 3.8% monthly or €5.4m more than the same period last year.
Since many continue to work from home for part of the week, there is less chance of going out for lunch or dinner on those days.
Shoppers are buying 13.3% more on each trip to the supermarket than they were at the start of 2020, Healy added.
“Non-alcoholic beverages are seeing really strong growth, and it looks set to continue following the introduction of the minimum unit price in Ireland,” he said.
“Dry January gave people the perfect opportunity to explore the different options on supermarket shelves, and many traditional brands are diversifying their ranges to keep up with the change in demand.”
Dunnes maintained its position as Ireland’s largest retailer this month, with 23.1% of the market in the period to January 23. The retailer also benefited from the increased influx of new shoppers, who contributed an additional €42.2 million to its performance.
SuperValu follows closely with a 22.2% market share, while Tesco is just 0.1 percentage point behind at 22.1%. Lidl now has an 11.8% stake, with Aldi holding 11.6%.