Supermarket statistics UK 2021
The latest stats on the supermarket industry and behaviours surrounding it.
We break down statistics on the UK’s favourite places to do their grocery shopping, how supermarket sales have fared during lockdown and how much Brits are spending on their weekly shops.
- Tesco was the UK’s favourite supermarket in 2020, with a 60% positive response rate.
- Tesco also holds the greatest supermarket market share, owning over a quarter of the market (26.6%).
- Tesco’s greatest percentage increase on its sales in the previous year was in April 2020, at a 7.2% increase.
- The market value of supermarkets reached its peak in 2020, at £205 billion.
- That means the average Brit spent £3,020 on their supermarket shopping during 2020.
Supermarket shopping behaviour
How popular are supermarkets for everyday goods?
Almost 9 out of 10 people (89%) regularly buy their groceries from supermarkets. A quarter of people (24%) also like to buy their baked goods from special bakeries or delis. The same amount of people also admitted to shopping online. Other popular places were discount stores, deli counters in supermarkets and specialist stores (like butchers).
|Type of store||Percentage of respondents|
|Bakery or deli||24%|
|Online store/online retail||24%|
|Deli counter in supermarkets||19%|
|Specialist store (e.g. butcher shop)||19%|
|Organic food store||7%|
|Meal kit providers||6%|
|I do not buy food or products for everyday use||0%|
The UK’s favourite supermarkets
When asked which store they shopped at regularly to buy food and products for everyday use, 60% of respondents replied Tesco. Perhaps due to slashed prices, Aldi and Asda came up in joint second place, with a 43% response rate.
|Supermarket||Percentage of respondents|
|Marks & Spencer||17%|
|I do not buy food or products of everyday use||0%|
Supermarket market shares
Tesco holds the greatest market share among British supermarkets, which aligns with being the nation’s favourite supermarket. Contrastingly, Sainsbury’s was the fourth most popular supermarket as voted above (with a 38% positivity rating) but has the second greatest market share of grocery stores in Great Britain (15.7%). Being less popular than, say, Asda but having a greater market share could indicate that Sainsbury’s makes more money per individual shop.
|Symbols and independent||2%|
Market value of grocery retail
The market value of grocery retail has increased steadily over the past 16 years. Perhaps due to an increasing population, panic buying during COVID-19 or increased consumerism, grocery retail reached the highest market value in 2020. A market value of £205 billion would mean the average Brit spent £3,020 on grocery shopping in 2020. How do you compare?
Average weekly sales
With an average of £3.23 billion spent every November, Christmas stands strong as the most profitable holiday. Soon after, the spending plummets during January (average spend of £2.85 billion), where spending is consistently lowest compared to during the remainder of the year.
The impact of COVID-19 on online supermarket shopping
The first UK lockdown was introduced on 16 March 2020. The graph below shows the monthly Internet food retail sales measured by the index numbers of the sales per week. The sales index expresses the current year’s sales revenue as a percentage of the sales revenue in 2018, the base year.
The graph shows an increased reliance on food retail shopping (following news of lockdowns and food shortage scares) in January 2020, where sales shot from 97.3 index points to 221.8 index points in May 2020: an increase of 128%.
Focus on Tesco
Tesco’s greatest percentage increase was in April 2020, at 7.2% on the previous year. This is likely a direct effect of heightened buying behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from this, the trend shows no correlation between months and percentage change in sales.
- Office for National Statistics
- Statista Global Consumer Survey
- Our Tesco
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