Drink sales in Northern Ireland supermarkets are growing at nearly three times the rate of groceries, new data shows.
With pubs closed, sales of alcohol increased by 37.9 per cent year-on-year in the 52 weeks to January 24, according to consumer analysts Kantar.
Yet the overall grocery market in the Province grew by just 13.9 per cent over the same period.
Indeed, sales of confectionery and savoury treats – each a popular accompaniment to wine and beer – also grew ahead of the total market at 15.7 per cent and 18.2 per cent respectively.
Emer Healy, a retail analyst at Kantar, said: “After almost a full year of lockdowns and restrictions, we visited stores an average of 20 times fewer than we did the year before the pandemic.
“But with people eating more meals at home and adding more items to their trolleys, volume per trip soared by 18.1 per cent year on year as shoppers picked up an average of two additional items each time they visited the supermarket.”
Lidl increased sales by 20.5 per cent and achieved the strongest growth among the retailers.
It successfully recruited more shoppers which contributed an additional £5.9 million to its overall takings this period.
Asda’s sales rose by 9.3 per cent, with its success driven by shoppers putting more groceries in their trolleys in the store than in any other retailer.
Sainsbury’s regulars also continued to pick up more items during their shop, which boosted its sales by £61.2 million and helped the supermarket achieve growth of 13.7 per cent.
But Tesco maintained its crown as Northern Ireland’s biggest grocer, taking 35.1 per cent of the market this period and increasing its sales by 12.2 per cent.
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