Grocer Waitrose saw sales for the week to December 17th 2011 increase 3.3 per cent compared to the same period last year, as shoppers made preparations for their Christmas meals.
Reporting a strong demand for all things festive, the retailer found meats to be its best selling foods as consumers flocked to its turkey range. Sales of its Duchy turkey, plumpie turkey and free range bronze crown turkeys rose 22 per cent, 50 per cent and 11 per cent respectively while luxury stuffing sales increased by over 22 per cent.
As Christmas parties embued consumers with festive spirit, party food sales were boosted by 14 per cent last week and sales of beer, wine and spirits rose ten per cent on the same seven days in 2010. Champagne saw a 48 per cent lift in sales while wine had its busiest week of the year, up 5.5 per cent.
Sales of seasonal confectionary were up nine per cent and gift food sales rose by 21 per cent and Tony Solomons, Retail Director at Waitrose, pointed out that celebrity chef creations are maintaining popularity.
“Heston‘s hugely popular Christmas puddings have proved a massive success for the second year running,” he explained.
“Some customers may still be able to get their hands on one if they‘re very lucky but the vast majority have sold out again. Heston‘s Black Forest Buche is proving just as mouthwatering, with sales continuing strongly, along with the Popping Candy Tart, and many of Delia‘s festive treats, including the Cake packs.”
Solomons also highlighted the fact that sales were up considerably due to the snow across the UK last year and believes that these strong results prove that economic woes have not dampened the festive spirits of shoppers.