The rate of food price inflation has fallen to 2.9% according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland.

The rate had remained above 4% for the past year peaking at 6.4% in January.

Fresh food was the main driver of price inflation over the past year and this has now started to recede, according to David Berry, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel.

"This drop in price inflation has caused the value of the grocery market to slip into year on year decline, following six months of sales growth as consumers continue to focus on value and savvy shopping," he explained.

Among the retailers, Tesco saw a 6% drop in sales leading to its share of the market dropping from 28% to 26.5%.

Dunnes performed ahead of the market for the third successive month, growing its market share from 23% to 23.6%.

SuperValu’s share of the market increased slightly with sales remaining in line with last year giving it a market share of 19.4%.

"Discounter Aldi continues to set the pace with market share of 7.4%. However this is the first time its year on year rate of growth has dipped below 20% since April 2012, highlighting stiff competition in the grocery market," David Berry concluded.