The purchase of fresh lamb by Irish consumers generated €29m in sales for retailers leading up to Easter Sunday.
Lamb is a traditional Easter dish and farmers usually see a lift in prices corresponding to the increase in demand.
The latest figures published by Kantar show supermarkets grew their sales by 4.1% in the 12 weeks up to 21 April, with shoppers spending €208.2m in Easter week alone.
SuperValu was one of the notable performers, returning to growth having been bolstered by the sale of fresh meat. Fresh lamb, fish and beef sales were up by 13.2%, 12.8% and 11.0% respectively.
Outside of fresh meats, Irish shoppers spent a further €44m on another traditional Easter favourites – Easter eggs.
Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar, commented: “With both the St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday and the Easter weekend giving shoppers cause for celebration over the past 12 weeks, there have been plenty of excuses for people to get in store and spend. "Shopper visits to the major retailers grew by 1.3% on last year, yielding an additional €28.7 million of value.”
Dunnes Stores has maintained its position as the number one retailer growing sales by 6.1% to capture 22.2% of the market.
Faughnan explained the retailer has been pushing shoppers towards premium items through partnership with specialists like James Whelan Butchers and Sheridans Cheesemongers.
The average price paid in Dunnes is up almost 2% on last year, which has generated €10m in sales.
Tesco also saw growth over the last 12 weeks, up almost 3% to edge ahead of SuperValu into second position. Its own-label brand now accounts for 47% of its sales.
Both Aldi and Lidl have performed strongly in Dublin and across the country.
Faughnan said: “Growth of 18% for Aldi in the Connaught and Ulster region was the strongest increase recorded by any retailer in any one region, while Lidl’s 13% growth in Munster makes it the fastest-growing grocer in the southern provinces.”
Sheep Watch: cull ewe prices strengthening
Pneumonia the number one cause of sheep deaths in 2019