The average amount spent on grocery products in Ireland has fallen to its lowest level in seven years, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Figures published today (18 September) show the average shopping trip in Ireland has dropped from an average of EUR22.50 (US$29.40) last year to EUR21.30 for the 12 weeks ending 2 September, the lowest level since 2005.

Kantar said the market has fallen by 0.6% during the past year. With inflation running at 2.3%, “grocery staples are becoming more expensive and the average shopper has less to spend on them”, the analysts said.

“As speculation around the December budget increases shoppers are looking to tighten their grip on household spending,” said David Berry, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel. “Shoppers are reducing their spending by adopting a ‘little and often’ approach to shopping trips, which is helping them to limit wastage as they only buy what they need when then need it.”

Tesco, Ireland’s largest retailer, and SuperValu, its third biggest, both posted “moderate” sales growth of 2.4% and 0.4% this month, Kantar revealed.

However, sales at Aldi increased 28%, lifting its share of the market from 4.5% to 5.9%.

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Grocery inflation was 2.3% in the period, up from 2.1% in the previous period but “significantly” below the 4.4% seen in August 2011.