Sales growth at Tesco
Market research by Kantar WorldPanel showed grocery sales in Britian climbed 4.2 percent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to January 22 compared with 4.8 percent in the 12 weeks to December 25.
With grocery price inflation at 5.7 percent, that signals Britons are cutting back on the number of items they buy and switching to cheaper goods as their free cash is squeezed by rising prices, muted wages growth and austerity measures.
Sales growth at Tesco, which issued a shock profit warning on January 12, slowed to 2.1 percent from 3.3 percent in the 12-weeks to December 25.
Growth at Wm Morrison Supermarkets, the fourth-biggest grocer, was also down sharply to 3.7 percent from 5.1 percent.
In contrast, Asda's purchase of Netto UK stores helped to lift its market share to a record 17.5 percent, while Sainsbury's grew market share to 16.7 percent, its highest since March 2003.
Frozen food specialist Iceland Foods also saw its share reach a 10-year high of 2.1 percent on the day second-round bids for a controlling stake in the business are due to be lodged.
(Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by Greg Mahlich)