All the UK's major supermarket chains managed to maintain or increase market share in the past quarter, according to TNS Worldpanel grocery market share figures for the 12 weeks ending 16 July.

TNS said that much of the major operators' buoyancy was aided by the near-disappearance of Kwik Save after its disposal by Somerfield.

Asda has started to recover after a period of poorer performance earlier this year, with the Wal-Mart subsidiary lifting its share of the grocery market back up to 16.6%, which is marginally ahead of the 16.5% share it enjoyed at this time last year.

Shopper spending at Asda grew by 6%, ahead of total grocery growth of 4.6% in the UK. TNS attributed the supermarket chain's resurgence to a greater focus on competitive prices.
 
Retailer JS Sainsbury has maintained a 16.0% share for the fifth consecutive period, up from the level of 15.8% for the same time in 2005, and reflecting an increase in turnover of 7%.
 
Meanwhile, Tesco continued to grow ahead of the market in the 12 week period, and nudged its share of the grocery sector up slightly to 31.5%.
 
Morrisons held onto its 11.3% market share, which has remained approximately steady for the last 12 months, TNS said.
 
In addition, Somerfield and Waitrose both continued to increase share, with Somerfield having 4.2% and Waitrose 3.8% of the UK market.