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Wet weather hits supermarket spending amid falling grocery price inflation

Analysis shows supermarket prices are 2.1% higher than a year ago, slowing for the 15th month in a row from May’s 2.4%.

Consumers have cut their supermarket shopping due to the unseasonable weather, even as grocery price inflation fell for the 16th month in a row, figures show.

Supermarket prices are 2.1% higher than a year ago, slowing for the 15th month in a row from May’s 2.4%, according to analysts Kantar.

However, despite 36% of households now describing their financial position as comfortable – the highest proportion since November 2021 – falling inflation and poor weather saw take-home grocery sales rise by just 1% over the month, the slowest increase since June 2022.

Growth in footfall also stalled, with the average shopper visiting a supermarket 16.3 times this month, down from 16.4 in June last year.

Consumers bought nearly 25% fewer suncare items this month compared with last year while prepared salads dipped by 11%. Meanwhile, fresh soup sales jumped by almost 24%.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “The sixth wettest spring on record hasn’t just dampened our spirits leading into summer, it’s made a mark on the grocery sector too as it seems Britons are being put off from popping to the shops.

“We’re not yet reaching for those typical summertime products and are making some purchases you wouldn’t expect in June.”

Kantar found costs are falling in nearly one third of the grocery categories it tracks, including toilet tissues, butter and milk, a significant increase from last year when just 1% of markets were declining.

Mr McKevitt added: “The cost-of-living crisis isn’t over – far from it. 22% of households say they’re struggling, meaning that they aren’t able to cover their expenses or are just making ends meet.

“However, there are positive signs that many of us no longer feel the need to restrict our spending quite so much, with lower inflation helping to ease the pressure on people’s pockets.”

Supermarkets will be hoping for positive performances from England and Scotland at the Euros to boost spending, with the proportion of beer and lager promotions leaping to over 40% in the last four weeks.

Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, increasing sales by 10.7% over the 12 weeks to June 9.

Almost a quarter of British households (23%) did their grocery shopping online in the last three months, with more than 4% choosing to use Ocado.

Tesco achieved its highest market share since February 2022, growing 0.6 percentage points to 27.7% and increasing sales by 4.6%.

Waitrose welcomed 188,000 new shoppers through its doors over the last 12 weeks, a greater increase than any other grocer to boost its sales by 3.5% for a 4.5% market share.

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