By Marcus Leach

The latest grocery share figures published for the 12 weeks ending 17 April 2011, have show stellar performances for the German-owned discounters Aldi and Lidl.

This is in contrast to mainstream stores such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury who all lost market share in the same period.

Aldi and Lidl led market growth for this period, with year-on-year sales increasing by 15% and 14.7% respectively. Both retailers also achieved all-time record market shares of 3.3% for Aldi and 2.6% for Lidl.

“While the discounters are performing well this trend is not a re-run of 2008 when new shoppers turned to these outlets in response to the recession and 9% food price inflation," Edward Garner, Communications Director at Kantar Worldpanel, said.

"Currently, discounter growth is fuelled by existing shoppers sharply increasing their spending levels.

"While in comparison to other major outlets Aldi and Lidl’s basket sizes remain relatively small, there is no doubt that these two retailers are now taking a larger portion of shoppers’ spending.”

After the discounters, the next highest grocery growth was posted by Waitrose at 7.7% - providing further evidence that not everyone is responding to economic pressures in the same way.

Major share growth remains elusive for the top four retailers for this period with only Morrisons out-performing the market to lift share from 11.8% 12 months ago to 11.9%.

“Last period, the grocery growth rate plunged from 3.9% to 2.6%, suggesting that shoppers’ purses had snapped shut," Garner continued.

"This period, growth has recovered somewhat to 3.6%. Part of the reason for this is the late timing of Easter in 2011. Seasonal products such as flowers, hot-cross buns, lamb and, of course, Easter eggs all showed sharp decreases over the same period last year as Easter was much earlier. However, this year there may well be a degree of catch-up taking place as Easter markets peak later.”