Total sales, excluding fuel, were down 4.6% at Waitrose for the week ending last Saturday (April 22) compared with the same week last year.
The supermarket chain’s property & development director Nigel Keen said: “Comparisons are heavily distorted due to the fall of Easter. This means we are comparing a full week in 2016 with six days this year.”
Sunny spells led to an increase in sales of warmer weather food. Sales of rosé saw a rise of 22% and outdoor products increased by 230%, including picnicware which climbed by 140%.
Sales of fresh fruit and produce also had a strong week, with raspberries up 40%, strawberries 28% and salad 14%.
Waitrose also announced the launch of British, Vale of Evesham asparagus, which was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status earlier this year.
As a result, asparagus sales increased by 60% as customers enjoyed the 100% British in-season vegetable.
To celebrate the accreditation, Waitrose is the only supermarket to sell a dedicated pack of Vale of Evesham asparagus which has been available in shops from St. George’s Day (Sunday April 23).
In order to be protected under PGI, a product must be produced, processed or prepared in the geographical area it is associated with.
The mark is only given to a product if it is deemed to have a reputation, characteristics or qualities that are a result of that area. Other products which have the PGI mark include Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese and Cornish sardines.