Supermarkets across the UK have reported that groceries sales have reached a record high. This seems to be thanks to shoppers stocking up for Christmas. Market research specialists Kantar have found that £10.9bn was spent during the month of November. Sales of Christmas essentials such as turkeys have notably increased. Shoppers who were surveyed say they are preparing for the “best Christmas” after tough restrictions through 2020. When comparing the latest figures with data from 2019, sales of turkeys and ready-to-roast joints are up by 36%.
In the report released by Kantar, it was also noted that sales were up 17% in the week ending on 5th November. This was before the second national lockdown began, when a surge of panic buying was reported.
What do experts think of the data?
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said “limited opportunities to drink in pubs, as well as an early eye on festivities, pushed alcohol spend 33% higher than the same four weeks last year”. He also added that the figures seem to indicate that people have “begun the countdown to Christmas 2020 already, using more time at home to go big on festive revelry”.
Another market research specialist, Nielsen, is also predicting stronger than usual groceries sales for December. They say that up to £1bn more could be spent on food and drink from supermarkets compared to last year. Mike Watkins, of Nielsen, said “we can see that shoppers are preparing for this where they can – buying packaged grocery, alcohol and frozen food – and many have planned their online orders early”.
However, they also warn that there could be a slump in some areas. A quarter of shoppers said that they intend to spend less this year compared to previous years. Reasons for this included participants saying that they wouldn’t be entertaining this year as well as concerns over finances.
Online sales continue to increase.
The data from Kantar also shows that the increase in households shopping online for their groceries has continued to be upheld. More than 6 million households did their grocery shopping online during November. Ocado, Iceland and Morrisons all saw increases in the number of online orders compared to the same time last year. Sales at Ocado had increased by 38%, while Iceland and Morrisons saw increases of 21% and 13.7% respectively.