Sales of beer, wine and spirits in supermarkets have dropped over the past four weeks, as consumers rein in post-Christmas spending.

Figures released by NielsenIQ for the four weeks to January 28 show a -4.7% dip in value sales for BWS, while volumes are down -8.5%.

Overall, Total Till grocery sales rose +7.6%, owing to food price inflation. Volume sales in the four weeks were down -6.9%, the lowest volume growth recorded in nine months, according to NeilsenIQ, as consumers feel the impact of the cost of living crisis.

The data also showed that sales were strongest at bricks and mortar stores (+9.4%), with a -8.7% fall in online sales. The online share of all FMCG sales remains at around 11.1%, which is similar to the underlying share in the latter part of 2022, NeilsenIQ said.

In terms of retailer performance, the discounters continued to show strong momentum with sales growth of almost +20% compared to the same time last year, with Lidl over taking Morrisons with 12 week market share of 8.9% and 8.3%, respectively.

We expect a challenging first quarter for the grocery industry, with inflation very much top of mind for shoppers,” said Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight. “As a result, shoppers will continue to trade down to cheaper brands or private label products. In January we have seen private label sales grow in household by +16.5%, ambient grocery by +16.8% and frozen by +20.2%.

“Also, when consumers are cash poor, they also shop more frequently and across more retailers, because they can only afford to shop for groceries ‘little and more often’ to help manage household budgets. This will probably continue until Easter, when family gatherings and hopefully better weather gives a boost to sales.”