The UK’s second largest supermarket was closely followed by discounter Aldi, which spent £4.5m. M&S had the most increased spend over the period, up 153%, and Lidl increased spend by 138%.
At the same time, Lidl and Aldi’s collective market share rose to 10% for the first time, with Aldi’s sales increasing 17.3% year-on-year, and Lidl’s by 13.8%. This growth outpaced the rest of the grocery market, which grew at the rate of 0.7%.
"The 10% market share for discounters has not been seen since the heyday of Kwik Save some 15 years ago," said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight.
"Initially built on the premise of saving money, the new wave of discounters are now a regular part of grocery shopping and have changed shopping habits forever. For instance, switching to cheaper grocery brands is again the No 1 household tactic for saving money.
"However, what is different this time is that discounters are no longer solely associated with price. They’ve been very astute at promoting the quality of their offerings to appeal to a wider range of consumers," he added.
In the four-week period, Morrisons was the only one of the big four supermarkets to increase sales. Nielsen said this indicated its Match & More loyalty scheme was having a "positive impact on trading performance."