Lidl and Aldi are fastest growing supermarkets but Brits snub offers for rich Christmas pickings

British shoppers shunned Christmas offers in favour of more lavish food - though German discounters Lidl and Aldi enjoyed a big boost at the end of 2017.

The spending splurge saw the Friday before Christmas, December 22, become the busiest shopping day ever recorded with £747 million going through the tills and online.

Lidl and Aldi shared the title of Britain's fastest growing supermarket in the final 12 weeks of the year as they collectively attracted almost a million more households.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi noted the level pegging.

Tesco performed best of the Big Four supermarkets.

Figures found many shoppers bought close to home and at convenience branches with Christmas Eve falling on Sunday meaning restricted opening hours for the larger supermarkets.

Restricted opening hours on the Sunday Christmas Eve meant a boost for the big supermarket's smaller outlets. Credit: PA

Britons spent £1 billion more than last year over the three months including Christmas, with the average household spending a record £1,054 on groceries.

December alone saw a record £469 million spent on premium own-label products while only 36% of spending was on items on offer this year.

That is the lowest level of promotional activity at Christmas since 2009.

The figures released by Kantar Worldpanel found over the last three months of 2017:

  • Lidl and Aldi increased their sales by 16.8% compared with the same period in 2016

  • Aldi's share of the entire UK grocery market rose from 6% to 6.8% and Lidl's from 4.4% to 5%

  • Tesco sales rose by 3.1% although its market share narrowly fell, by 0.2%, to 28%

  • Waitrose saw a 2.3% increase, Asda by 2.2%, Morrisons by 2.1% and Sainsbury's by 2%

The festive boost to supermarkets came amid a far bleaker first half of winter on the high street.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen's UK head of retailer insight, said: "The supermarkets did well this Christmas, particularly amid fierce price competition and shoppers starting to feel the squeeze on disposable incomes.

"It was in stark contrast to many high street retailers who saw less footfall and sales declines."