The pace of grocery inflation continues to slow, with the latest report from Kantar putting it at 3.7% in the 12 weeks to 17 March, the lowest rate in two years. This is significantly below the 16% level seen a year ago.

Business development director at Kantar Emer Healy said that while it is “very welcome news for consumers”, her company’s data showed that shoppers are still on the lookout for value, with 25% of value sales during the period coming from promotions.

While the pace of price rises is slowing, the level of prices remains high. Consumers are continuing to buy supermarket own-brand products in large quantities, with the sector now accounting for 48% of all purchases by value.

Fixed basket

As the Kantar inflation data is calculated on a fixed basket of goods, shoppers can reduce their personal inflation rate by trading down to own-brand labels or by favouring goods which are on promotion.

In the four weeks to 17 March, shoppers spent €1.1bn on groceries, a rise of 4.5% on the same period last year.

Sales of branded goods rose at a slower 3.8% pace in the period, again showing the preference for supermarket own-label goods.

Dunnes remains the largest retailer in the country by market share, with 24% of retail sales by value in the group’s stores.