Resurgent supermarket chain Sainsbury's stretched its record of sales growth today after shoppers took up Jamie Oliver's advice to "try something new ".
The advertising campaign featuring the celebrity chef helped the UK's third largest grocer lift like-for-like sales by 5.2% in the 12 weeks to the end of the year - the company's fourth successive quarter of improvement.
The trading update came a day after market research group TNS Superpanel said Sainsbury's had taken its largest share of the market for two years.
Closing the gap on second-placed rival Asda, TNS said Sainsbury's controlled 16.2% of the grocery market, compared with 15.9% a year ago.
Sainsbury's has revived its performance through better stock availability and a drive to improve service.
The Chief executive Justin King said: "The customer experience is much improved, but we still need to achieve this at a more acceptable cost."
Sainsbury's said it served more than 19 million customers in Christmas week, the highest number of people through its tills in a single week.
Mr King added: "We prepared for Christmas well, developed outstanding seasonal products, strengthened promotional activity and worked hard to deliver great availability."
Grocery prices were 1% lower in the third quarter as Sainsbury's carried out a pledge to invest in its offer to customers.
The fightback from Sainsbury's comes after it suffered the first loss in its 135-year history.
A year ago it launched the Making Sainsbury's Great Again campaign, which aimed to add £2.5 billion to total sales by March 2008. As part of the drive, Sainsbury's went through a multi-million rebranding, including the introduction of its "Try Something New Today" advertising.Reuse content