Sainsbury increases market share in wake of horsemeat scare

J Sainsbury is the only one of the four largest UK supermarkets to increase its market share as the industry was hit by the UK's horsemeat scandal, according the data from Kantar Worldpanel Tuesday.

J Sainsbury is the only one of the four largest UK supermarkets to increase its market share as the industry was hit by the UK's horsemeat scandal, according the data from Kantar Worldpanel Tuesday.

Spending at the British grocer rose 4.6% in the 12 weeks to February 17th and market share increase 17% from 16.9% a year earlier.

The data comes a week after Sainsbury said there was no horsemeat found in its beef products following 250 tests in line with the Food Standards Agency.

Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Iceland, Co-Operative and Aldi were among those told to withdraw items from shelves.

Sainsbury's boss Justin King warned the industry was faced with a new reality following the crisis.

"Trust has been severely damaged," he told The Telegraph.

"The horse meat scandal has identified potential weaknesses in the food supply chain that must be addressed with urgency and rigour."

Kantar's figures are the first to show how shoppers reacted to the scare which unfolded in mid-January.

"The issue has so far only affected the performance of individual markets rather than where consumers are choosing to shop," said Director of Kantar, Edward Garner.

While Sainsbury flew in the face of the incident, the other three of the UK's 'big four' supermarkets, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, failed to boost their market share, Kantar said. Morrison lost the race, with spending dropping 1.3%.

Tesco's share took a hit, with a drop from 30.1% a year ago to 29.7%.

Asda also saw its share drop to 17.7% from 17.8% as the upmarket Waitrose chain and discounters Aldi and Lidl delivered strong performance.

The total grocery market is growing at an annual rate of 3.7% which lags behind grocery price inflation of 4.3%.

The discovery of horsemeat in beef products across Europe also affected frozen goods sales in the four weeks to February 17th. Frozen beef-burger sales were down by 43% and frozen ready meals declined by 13%.

RD

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