Shares in the UK's FTSE-100 listed supermarkets were higher on Tuesday after the latest Kantar data showed strong sales growth.
The so-called Big Four – Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Asda – all showed sales growth in the 12 weeks to 10 October, according to the results of the latest Kantar Worldpanel survey.
Supermarket sales increased in value by a total 3.1% compared with the same period last year, as sales of Christmas-related items got off to an early start, with £69m of chocolate boxes sold in the last four weeks alone.
Sainsbury cuts price deals
Sainsbury shares reacted the best, up 2.6% to 250p after its sales increased 1.9% on last year, with market share holding relatively steady - down 0.2 percentage points - at 15.8%.
Its programme of axing cut-price deals helped generate sales growth. They now make up just 35% of Sainsbury's sales, down from 40% a year ago.
Morrisons increased sales by 2.8% and was the fastest-growing of the Big Four during the period, while Tesco sales grew by 2.1%.
Shares in Morrison were up 0.8% at 236.4p and its share of the market dipped 0.1 percentage points to 10.3%, while Tesco shares added 0.6% to 187.35 and its market share fell 0.3 percentage points to 27.9%.
Asda, which is part of the Wal-Mart group and listed in the US, saw its sales rise by 1.9% in the 12-week period.
The German stores Aldi and Lidl together added £390m in sales during this quarter - half of the entire market's overall growth in 12-week period as the discounters added to their share of the market.
Lidl was the UK's fastest-growing supermarket, and its market share rose 0.6 percentage points to 5.2% and Aldi's also rose 0.6 percentage points to 6.8%.