The latest figures released by TNS Worldpanel reveal that competition between the big four UK supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – intensified during the 12 weeks to 29 January, with strong overall trading and year-on-year growth of 4.4%.

Sainsbury’s has undergone the most impressive growth maintaining its strong market position, with year-on-year expansion of 6%.

Asda, on the other hand, has seen growth of 2%, below overall market expansion. Consequently, the supermarket chain’s market share has slipped from 17% last year to 16.6% this year.

Likewise, Tesco’s growth has dropped off since last year. Although it maintains its dominant market position, commanding 30.6% of the market. “It is still growing but the year-on-year share increase of 1.6 percentage points is below the average of over 2 points we were seeing last year,” Edward Garner, director of research, explains.

Morrisons, the comeback-kid, has managed to halt the massive decline it underwent following the acquisition of Safeway. The company’s 11.1% market share has remained largely unchanged, suggesting that as store closures become less of a force in year-on-year comparisons, decline will slow.