Irish shoppers spent over €1 billion on groceries during the nationwide lockdown and run up to Christmas to make November the busiest month for grocers since the height of the previous national lockdown in June. 

New figures from Kantar show that grocery sales growth accelerated to 16.4% during the 12 weeks to November 29. 

Kantar noted that shoppers spent an extra €82,000 on mince pies over the past four weeks, while sales of Christmas biscuits soared by €793,000.

Sales of alcohol also jumped by 33% with an extra €721,000 spent on mixers.

Amid ongoing economic uncertainty, Kantar said that shoppers continue to treat themselves to branded products and spent an additional €85m on household names in the latest four weeks. 

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, said that it has been a tough year and so it was no surprise that shoppers were looking for ways to indulge while everyone is spending more time at home.  

"One of the positives of national and regional restrictions this year has been learning to love the world on our doorstep and to shop local. This has led to a rise in sales for well-loved Irish brands like Avonmore and Keoghs, both of which put in standout performances this month, as well as Brennan's and Denny," Emer Healy said.

Today's figures also show that Dunnes held the biggest share of the grocery market at 22.1% in the 12 weeks to November 29. Dunnes captured the highest spend per buyer among all the retailers, with shoppers parting with €7.76 more on average per trip than they did in the same time last year. 

Tesco and SuperValu also both saw strong growth over the past three months of 17% and 18.5% respectively.

Kantar said that SuperValu benefited from its extensive local store estate as shoppers picked up an average of 1.5 additional items per trip.  

It was a similar story at Tesco, where people adding 3.5 more products to their trolleys on average helped the retailer to expand its market share to 21.5%.

Meanwhile, Lidl saw the strongest growth of all the grocers in the three month period at 24.4% and grew its market share by 0.8 percentage points to 12.5% compared with last year.

Aldi saw sales increase by 14% to achieve a 12% market share.