The grocery retail sector in the UK has successfully "shrugged off" the recession, the latest report from market researchers TNS claimed this afternoon (15 September).

According to the researchers, grocery market share figures for the 12-weeks to 6 September show that "recession panic" is "ebbing".

"Food remains a manageable proportion of most household budgets by historical standards and, it could be argued, the grocery sector suffered from an over-reaction at the end of 2008 when Aldi posted year-on-year sales growth of 26% and Waitrose saw a sales decline," Ed Garner, director, TNS Worldpanel, commented.

During the three-month period, up-market retailer Waitrose saw the strongest growth among the UK's retailers at 11.2%. Meanwhile, the German discounters saw sales growth continue to abate - with Aldi and Lidl showing sales growth of 8% and 5.2% respectively.

Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons continued to grow share and have added 1.1 share points between them, however, Tesco's market share has come under continuing pressure.

While TNS sounded an upbeat note for the grocery market in general, Garner warned that there are some clouds on the horizon.

"It is worth noting that there is challenge to the sector coming from the falling grocery inflation rate - this will restrict value growth for the industry going forward," he added.