Supermarket chain Waitrose enjoyed an excellent week in the seven days to March 16, with sales (excluding petrol) up 8.3% to £115.42m, boosted by Brits baking for Comic Relief, the climax of rugby union’s Six Nations and online orders.
According to Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas, the Red Nose Day charity campaign seemed to galvanise shoppers into making cakes in order to raise funds, with home baking benefiting from nearly a 30% rise in sales on last year. Sales of essential Waitrose red food colouring were up by more than 36% on the previous last week, red edible glitter flakes by more than 80% and free range eggs by a 18%.
As the finale to this year’s Six Nations took place and the new Formula 1 season got the green light, ready meal sales increased by 17%, fresh pizzas by 10% and Waitrose.com food orders were up by a staggering 50.8%. Steaks were on the menu, too, with sales 102% up. Fans were clearly raising a glass as beer sales jumped by 12%, wines by 14% and spirits up 23%.
The cold weather continued to have a huge impact on sales with tinned soup up 32% and sales of slow cooked meats by 28%.