Dunnes Stores has the largest market share among grocery retailers for the first time in nine months, while Storm Ophelia saw a spike in sales as shoppers stocked up ahead of the bad weather.

New figures from Kantar Worldpanel show shoppers spent €2 more per trip to Dunnes in the 12 weeks to 5 November, boosting its market share to 22.4%.

Director at Kantar Worldpanel David Berry said "Dunnes Stores traditionally posts a strong performance towards the end of the year and 2017 is no exception.

"While growth of 1.4% compared to this time last year is slightly behind the market average, shoppers have spent almost €2 more per trip this period, which has been enough for the retailer to edge ahead of the competition."

SuperValu is in the second spot with a 22.0% share of the market - in line with last month - though larger basket sizes have contributed to a sales improvement of 0.5%.

Tesco’s sales are 5.1% higher than they were this time last year, and the retailer is the only one of the top five not to lose shoppers this year, with customers tempted by lower prices.

Aldi and Lidl have both continued to see sales grow ahead of the market - up 2.9% and 3.8% respectively.

According to Kantar, Lidl has performed well in branded goods, particularly in the alcohol, biscuits and confectionery aisles as shoppers gear up for the festive season.

The research also shows all grocery retailers saw a spike in sales in the lead-up to Storm Ophelia, as consumers prepared for the anticipated bad weather by stocking up on goods.

Mr Berry said: "Storm Ophelia - which hit on the 16 October - had a surprisingly strong effect on the Irish grocery market. 

"The week before Ophelia landed supermarkets were buoyed by a spike in sales as shoppers battened down the hatches in preparation for the course of the storm.  Munster in particular saw an uplift in sales, with growth reaching 12% during that week."