The absence of a sustained heatwave this summer saw sales of items like sun screen and ice cream fall substantially, according to the latest supermarket sales figures from Kantar in Ireland.

For the twelve week period up to August 11th, sales of ice cream were down 17% on the same time last year while sales of sun care items were 41.5% lower.

The overall grocery sector saw growth of 2.7% in the period.

Shoppers made larger but less frequent grocery trips and the average spend per shop increased by 84 cent to €23.29.

"While certain typical summer categories felt the impact of the mild weather this period, it wasn't all bad news," Charlotte James, consumer insight director at Kantar said. 

"Sales of wine, which is usually more popular in colder months, grew by 13.7%. All the major retailers took advantage of this, with Tesco particularly benefiting by ramping up promotions in the sector. The proportion of wine bought on deal at Tesco increased from 29.6% to 43.8% resulting in category growth of 14.9% for the retailer."

Dunnes retained the top spot for the biggest grocery spend in the period with a 21.6% share of the grocery market.

However, both Tesco and SuperValu were hot on its heels accounting for 21.5% and 21.3% of the market respectively.

The German discounters continued to perform well, particularly Aldi, which registered growth of 12.7% in the period bringing it to a record market share of 12.6%.

Lidl accounted for 12% of Irish grocery sales in the 12 week period.

Average price inflation came in at 1.1% for the period, which was a welcome boost for retailers, but the strong euro contributed to an uptick in cross border shopping.

"Brexit uncertainties and sterling's struggles saw cross-border spend increase by 14% compared with this time last year, with much of that on fresh and chilled products.  However, this still only makes up 0.6% of all sales and remains a small part of the market," Charlotte James explained.