With the growth of branded products and the summer sunshine helping sales, Co-op is experiencing its fastest rate of growth in nearly seven years, according to the latest grocery market share figures.

Published for the 12 weeks to 12th August 2018, Kantar Worldpanel shared figures revealing that the growth of branded products across the board has outstripped that of own-label lines for the first time since May 2015, resulting in strong growth for supermarkets.

Figures show that Co-op has experienced a fast rate of growth, with its highest in nearly seven years due to growth of brands and summer season.

Heavily branded snacks such as ice cream and soft drinks performed particularly well over the hot summer months, contributing to a 3.9% branded growth overtake over total own label products.

Consumers’ current preference to shop locally when the sun is shining has also helped Co-op attract an additional 263,000 new shoppers through its doors, and the retailer also saw its average customer visit 22 times over the 12-week period.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, commented: “Consumers’ willingness to spend that little bit extra to fully enjoy the summer sunshine has helped push brands ahead of their own-label counterparts.

“The last time Co-op saw sales growth of 7.8% it was still benefiting from the acquisition of Somerfield, so its performance is particularly notable this period.”

How did other supermarkets perform?

Morrisions regained its position as the fastest-growing of the big four supermarkets, gaining 231,000 new shoppers.

Second-strongest growth of the big four was Asda, experiencing growth of 2.6%.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s experienced its fastest rate of growth since January 2018, up 1.2%. The grocer was boosted by a strong online performance and the growth of its premium ‘Taste the Difference’ range.

Aldi has also witnessed a double-digit growth of 12.6%, helping the retailer up its share of the market to 7.6% – a 0.6% point increase on this time last year.

Grocery inflation now stands at +1.9% for the 12 week period ending 12th Aug 2018.

To read the full grocery market share figures, click here.