Lockdown restrictions since the beginning of the year helped convenience stores grab their biggest slice of grocery market since September.

The latest Kantar grocery market report shows that since the start of 2021, more than one pound in every eight spent on groceries was spent in a convenience store, equivalent to a 12.9% grocery market share.

For the 12 week period including January and Christmas, the Co-op was one of the biggest winners from the trend. The chain’s sales were £200m higher than in the same period last year, a grocery sales 11.4% increase. Takings in independent stores were up by £98m year on year – a meteoric 20.9% rise in grocery sales.

The market share held by independent stores also remained up year on year at 1.7% compared to 1.6% in January 2020.

Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt, predicted further strong results ahead, but warned stores to prepare for the end of the pandemic. He commented: “With the vaccine rollout underway, there’s also hope that the hospitality sector will re-open, meaning demand for take-home groceries is likely to subside.”

The average family upped their grocery spending by £50 compared to the previous January, with other key trends for the month including vegan lines (up 10% year on year), alcohol-free beer (up 23% year on year) and alcohol lines overall (up 29% year on year).