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Can Tuna Benefit From Pressure On UK Consumer Budget? United Kingdom, January 15, 13

With the slow UK economy, UK consumers are tightening their wallets, but the penny-pinching behavior could be good news for tuna retailers who sell the canned fish at an affordable price, although the current high tuna world market prices are not exactly helping.
Kantar Worldpanel, a consumer market research company, recently released its grocery share figures that indicate the UK grocery market grew 3.2% in the 12 weeks ending Dec. 23. The strongest growths were seen at the discount and premium ends of the market, with Waitrose achieving 5.4% growth and discounters Aldi, Lidl and Iceland posting growths of 30.1%, 10.8%, and 9.7% respectively.
This positive news for the retail sector comes at a time when analysts are forecasting another year of pressure on household budgets. The KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank, an “authoritative” voice on the retail market, says austerity measures will continue to hit consumer confidence and squeeze incomes further.
With tuna being an affordable and healthy purchase, UK consumers could be more willing to add the cans to their shopping carts.
Sainsbury’s – one of four big supermarkets in the UK – reports the chain’s own label products were popular with consumers because they allowed them to save money without compromising quality. The private label products helped drive the retailer’s growth last year and it was the only major supermarket to increase its market share (to just over 17%).
The market’s biggest retailer, Tesco, saw its market share shrink slightly from 30.6% to 30.5%. Meanwhile, Morrisons underperformed and lost sales last year, with its market share slipping to 12% in the 12 weeks leading to Dec. 23, from 12.4% a year earlier.
Sainsbury’s says consumers are likely to spend cautiously in the first few months of 2013, especially after the usual holiday overspending.