British grocery inflation stabilises - Kantar Worldpanel

A woman shops at a Sainsbury's store in London, Britain December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) - One year on from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union grocery price rises are no longer accelerating, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said like-for-like grocery inflation was 3.2 percent in the 12 weeks to July 16 - the same rate of increase as last month’s data.

Rising prices in categories such as butter, fish and cola have been partially offset by falling prices in areas including fruit squash and cooked poultry, it said.

“One year on from the EU referendum – which had a marked impact on the price of imported groceries (due to the fall in sterling) – hard-pressed shoppers could soon start to feel upward pricing pressures ease,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

It said overall supermarket sales rose 3.9 percent in the period, helped by a spell of hot weather and the inflation.

Market leader Tesco TSCO.L was the best performer of Britain's big four supermarkets with a sales rise of 2.3 percent.

Sainsbury's SBRY.L and Morrisons MRW.L grew sales by 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent respectively, while Asda WMT.N remained the laggard with growth of 1.0 percent.

But all of the big four still lost market share to discounters Aldi [ALDIEI.UL] and Lidl [LIDUK.UL].

Lidl’s sales increased 19.4 percent, its strongest growth since October 2014, taking its market share to a record high of 5.1 percent. Aldi’s sales rose 17.9 percent, giving it a market share of 7.0 percent.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton and Mark Potter