New figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that SuperValu continued to hold the highest share of the grocery market here.

SuperValu had a market share of 24.9% for the 12 weeks to March 27, followed by Tesco at 23.9% and Dunnes at 23.5%.

Kantar Worldpanel said that SuperValu shoppers visited the supermarket more often so far this year, with the average number of trips increasing to 22 from 20 last year. 

Meanwhile, Tesco posted sales growth for the fourth month in a row as keeping prices low continues to be a major focus for the retailer.

It also noted that growth for Dunnes Stores continued to be driven by larger shopping trips with spend per trolley increasing by €3 year on year.

Among the discounters, Lidl saw the strongest sales increase in the Irish grocery market in the latest 12 week period, growing by 9.5%. Aldi, meanwhile, saw an increase of 1.5% on last year as shoppers spend more on each visit to the supermarket.

Overall, supermarket sales grew by 4.6% compared to the same time last year, due to the early timing of Easter this year. 

"An early Easter saw shoppers spend an extra 40m on groceries as they prepared to celebrate with family and friends," commented David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel.

Mr Berry noted that fresh produce sales were up by 11%, while sales of crisps and snacks rose by 12%. Confectionary sales jumped by 32% with 69% of shoppers buying at least one chocolate egg during the Easter period.