Supermarket prices rising at fastest rate in 4 years

A shopper checks her shopping list in a supermarket in London Britain

In fact, they rose at their fastest rate in four years over the past three months, with a supermarket sales increase nearly entirely due to inflation, figures show.

Tesco retains its position as United Kingdom market leader, with 28% share (up 2.3%), while all the rest of the "Big Four" all saw gains compared to a year ago, with Sainsbury's up 2.3% (the retailer sits on 16.2% market share), Asda up 1.5% (15.3% market share) and Morrisons up 2.1% (10.4% market share).

Sainsbury's share price has been steady in today's session, having added 0.18 percent to 227.70p as of 13:38 GMT, in line with the broader United Kingdom market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index now standing 0.16 percent higher at 7,427.20 points.

Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) maintained its position as the leading grocer in the United Kingdom, according to Kantar, despite a decline to 28% of the market versus 28.2% a year earlier.

The research is based on the 12 weeks to 4th November 2017.

J Sainsbury PLC's (SBRY.LN) market share fell to 16.2% in the latest survey from 16.3%, with sales increasing 2.6% to GBP4.22 billion, Kantar reported. "Like-for-like grocery inflation now stands at 3.4 per cent - its highest level since November 2013".

The rising star in the British retail sector continues to be German hard discounter Lidl which, for the fifth consecutive period, is the fastest growing supermarket, registering a 15.1% increase in sales. Its market share also dipped 0.2 per cent.

Tesco welcomed 76% of British households during the past 12 weeks, growing sales by 2.3% as its market share dipped to 28.0%: down 0.2 percentage points on a year ago.

Elsewhere in the Big 4 Asda enjoyed its eighth period of sales growth jumping 1.5 per cent driven by an 88 per cent sales boost in its budget Farm Stores range.

"With the average shop currently costing £18.26, consumers are now paying an extra 62 pence each time and over the course of a year it could add £143.70 to a typical family's grocery bill", added McKevitt.

Sales at Iceland increased by 1.1%, with share falling slightly to 2.0% - down from 2.1% past year.

Fraser McKevitt continues: "Amid news that Nisa's shareholders have backed Co-op's takeover of the group, there is plenty of room for growth: convenience stores in all their forms now account for 12.1% of grocery sales".

"The grocer's strongest growth came from both its Local convenience stores and online sales".

Other supermarkets such as the Co-op posted 1.5% growth, Waitrose 2.3%, Ocado Group PLC 6.8%, and Iceland 1.1%.

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