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UK supermarket sales set for Euro 2024 fillip, says NIQ

LONDON (Reuters) – The return of some warm weather in May helped drive sales growth at British supermarkets and they are set for a boost from the upcoming Euro 2024 soccer championship, according to industry data published on Friday.

Market researcher NIQ said sales at UK supermarkets rose 3.3% in the four weeks ending May 18 year-on-year, thanks to a brief period of hot weather in the week ending May 11.

The data is the most up-to-date snapshot of UK consumer behaviour.

“It was the warm weather which helped to move the dial in terms of shopper spending at the UK supermarkets, more so than food inflation, which is expected to remain at around 3% for the next few months,” Mike Watkins, NIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said.

He said NIQ’s survey data showed at least 45% of UK households are interested in Euro 2024. Of those 69% plan to watch the matches at home by themselves or with other household members.

“This could be a boon for supermarket sales of drinks, snacks and food for event-driven categories, such as barbecues,” said Watkins.

The tournament, held in Germany, runs from June 14 to July 14, with both England and Scotland participating.

However, Watkins did point out that comparative numbers are tough as last year the UK enjoyed its hottest June on record.

Over the 12 weeks to May 18, NIQ said online player Ocado was again the fastest growing UK grocer with sales growth of 12.4% year-on-year, ahead of discounter Lidl with growth of 9.0% and Marks & Spencer with growth of 7.6%.

Market leader Tesco saw sales growth of 5.4%, while No. 2 Sainsbury’s saw growth of 6.0%.

No. 3 Asda was again the laggard with its sales falling 2.7%, while discounter Aldi only achieved growth of 0.7%.

 

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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