Irish supermarket Superquinn has gained market share in the country for the first time in five years, the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel reveal.

Superquinn sales were up 1.9% in the 12 weeks to 17 March, ahead of the overall market which was up 1.5%. Gains came at the expense of Tesco and Dunnes, which saw sales rise 1.3% and 1.4% respectively.

The fastest growth in the market was seen at the discounters, with Aldi sales growing 30.7% and LIDL sales up 5.8%.

“Things have started to look up for both Superquinn and the grocery market as a whole,” Kantar commercial director David Berry said. “The 1.9% sales growth posted by the retailer is good news, particularly as it is the first time it has beaten the market, which is currently growing at 1.5%, since 2007.  This growth has been driven by people buying more items each time they shop at Superquinn, with fresh and chilled foods proving particularly popular.”

Nevertheless, growth of the Irish grocery market has not kept pace with inflation, which was up 5.7% in the period. Consumers are therefore still buying less food in response to higher prices and the tough economic conditions.