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Supermarkets Continue To Fall Apart From Morrisons And Discounters
The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 21 June show the overall grocery market slipping back into decline with 0.1% less going through the tills compared to last year. However, against this backdrop, some individual supermarkets have shown growth.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “Morrisons has seen the largest sales increase among the ‘big four’ retailers for the second month in a row, recording a sales growth of 0.6%, which has been supported by an increase in online shopping. Continuing to grow ahead of the market, the retailer has increased its market share to 11.0%, up 0.1 percentage points compared with a year ago. While only a small increase against a weak 2014, this does represent the first market share gains made by Morrisons since December 2011.”
“Last seen in November, the return to marginal decline across the grocery market reflects both falling prices and only steady volume growth. Sales volumes are up 2% compared to a year ago but are not anticipated to accelerate, even with an improving economy, as demand for groceries has remained broadly steady since before the recession.”
Groceries are now 1.7% cheaper compared with a year ago. Prices have been falling since September 2014, but the rate of decline is slowing meaning they are projected to rise again by the end of this year.
Sales fell by 1.3% at both Tesco and Sainsbury’s. This took market share down to 28.6% and 16.5% respectively, a decrease of 0.3 and 0.2 percentage points. At Asda sales were down by 3.5%, leaving the retailer with a 16.5% share, compared with 17.1% last year. In contrast at the Co-operative sales were flat, but were crucially ahead of the market for the first time in nearly four years. Helped in part by more shoppers visiting the stores, the retailer’s market share held steady at 6.2%.
Aldi and Lidl showed no signs of slowing down and are continuing to take share away from the competition. The two discounters increased their sales by 15.4% and 9.1% respectively. Aldi reached a new high with a 5.5% share of the market while Lidl, also showing continued growth, rose to 3.9%. Waitrose also grew ahead of the market, with sales increasing by 1.2%, moving to a 5.1% share.
Paper Is Better Than Plastic According To New Environmental Study
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has concluded a comparative study on the environmental performance of different packaging solutions.
The study compares the lifecycles of plastic products versus corresponding paper products from BillerudKorsnäs. The results show that paper has considerably more favorable environmental qualities than plastic, such as 50-70% lower greenhouse gas emissions.
IVL’s study looks at the entire product lifecycle, from material production up until it is thrown away or recycled. Although the transportation and packaging production of plastic products emits less greenhouse gas, the results show that the overall product lifecycle of paper products give rise to far less emissions. Material production of both paper and plastic packaging is the most energy intense part of production. But according to the study, which has been verified by Bureau Veritas, plastic production emits far more greenhouse gas than paper production.
“The results of the study challenge a common misconception that the production of paper packaging is more energy consuming and environmentally detrimental than the production of plastic packaging. An important reason why the production of the tested BillerudKorsnäs packaging materials emits less greenhouse gas is that their process is almost entirely run on renewable energy. Another reason is that the total energy consumption for production of these products is lower”, says Lena Dahlgren, project manager, IVL.
The EU parliament has recently introduced measures that will limit the use of plastic bags in Europe. The aim is to decrease their use from 200 plastic bags per person and year to 90 plastic bags per person and year before the end of 2019. Each member country will be free to decide how this goal will be achieved, but a possible solution might be to increase the use of paper bags.
“BillerudKorsnäs welcomes the EU initiative to deal with Europe’s littering problems. Paper and board packaging are not the only solutions. It is important to reduce littering, regardless of material. But given a choice between plastic and paper, we believe that our products can contribute to solutions against both plastic littering as well as climate change, two of our times largest sustainability challenges”, says Henrik Essén, SVP Communication and Sustainability, BillerudKorsnäs.