Customers return to winter cooking at Waitrose

Last week (to July 25) saw divisional sales, excluding petrol, up 0.6% compared with the same week last year for Waitrose.

The supermarket chain’s retail director Rob Collins said: “The disappointing weather at the start of the school summer holidays meant customers were reaching for warming food options usually more popular in the winter months.”

Soups were up 28% compared to the same week last year, while hot sharing desserts such as bread and butter pudding and crumbles enjoyed a 22% increase in demand. Ready meals were up by 26% on 2014.

Drinks associated with colder weather were also on the rise. Sales of coffee and hot drinks were up by 21%. Red wine saw strong growth, with wine from the Rhône region of France up by 47% on last year, and Spanish red up by 19%. Malt whisky and cognac were also a hit with customers, up by 22% and 24% respectively.

Rain across large swathes of the country meant that roast dinners as opposed to barbecues were a popular choice, with beef joints up 47% on 2014.

Traditional roast accompaniments were a success; sales of frozen Yorkshire puddings increased 40%, while parsnips were up 46% and broccoli by 31%.

Perhaps because it was a week for staying indoors Waitrose cafés were a popular choice with customers, with orders of food and drink up 32% compared to 2014.

Also in a bid for extra warmth, there was a sharp increase in the popularity of tights – up 41% on the same week last year.

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