Aldi sign© Rex

Discounter Aldi has overtaken Waitrose to become Britain’s sixth biggest supermarket.

Aldi’s grocery market share hit 5.3% after recording double-digit growth for the past four years, according to latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The German discounter’s sales increased 16.8% in the 12 weeks ending 29 March 2015, compared with the same period last year, increasing its market share from 4.6%.

The growth was driven by half a million new shoppers visiting Aldi in the past 12 months, spending on average 7% more.

Waitrose and Lidl also achieved sales ahead of the market, growing 2.9% and 12.1% respectively.

The Big Four still struggle to grow

In contrast, the Big Four – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – all grew, but behind the market and struggled to keep hold of their market share.

Tesco – still Britain’s biggest retailer by a long way – grew sales by 0.3%, but lost 0.2% of market share to 28.4%, while Asda and Morrisons declined by 1.1% and 0.7% respectively, also losing market share.

Sainsbury’s grew for the first time since August 2014, with sales up 0.2%, but it lost 0.1% of market share to 16.4%.

Changes in the grocery market

The past 18 months has seen shoppers buying more of their goods at either end of the market – the discounters and premium end – while the Big Four have struggled to grow.  

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “The changing structure of Britain’s supermarket landscape is illustrated by two facts. 

“First, the so-called discounters Aldi and Lidl now command a combined 9.0% share of the market. In 2012, the same two retailers only accounted for 5.4% of grocery sales. 

“Second, the 72.8% share taken by the biggest four retailers is now at the lowest level in a decade.”

Shelf price cuts and promotions continue to benefit consumers and as a result groceries are now 2.0% cheaper than they were a year ago. 

Grocery inflation fell for the 19th consecutive period and now stands at -2.0%, the lowest figure since Kantar Worldpanel began recording GPI in 2006.