‘Beast From The East’ Provides Boost To Irish Grocery Market

The ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma provided a ‘huge boost’ to the Irish grocery market, research shows.

According to Nielsen’s recently published retail performance data, grocery shoppers spent €9.6 million more on groceries (+4%) in the week of the storms than they did the week before and €15.2 million extra (+6%) than in the same week a year ago.

“The beauty of the beast for grocery retail was that people spent more on almost every single category,” said Matt Clark, Nielsen’s commercial director in Ireland.

The research indicated that convenience stores who accounted for 56% of the increased spend (vs. the previous week) compared to 44% for the multiples and discounters. Convenience stores normally account for 36% of grocery sales.

Biggest Beneficiaries

Clark said, “the real growth was not in staples such as bread and milk but indulgent categories such as alcohol, confectionery and snacks.”

Milk and cream saw an increase of €1.6 million compared to last year. The crisps and snacks and the confectionary categories saw an upsurge of €1.5 million respectively.

In terms of the incremental amount of euros spent compared to the previous week. Wine sales rose €2.6 million, followed by beer at €2.4 million.

Interestingly, although it was widely reported that that the bread aisles in stores nationwide were the first to be emptied during the extreme weather event, the research indicated that in terms of relative growth, bread saw an overall increase of €1.2 million.

Clark outlined that the weather warnings and near-curfew type advice, meant uncertainty was a major driver of people buying more groceries.