Total sales (excluding petrol) for Waitrose were 5.8% higher than last year in the week to May 10, due to a mix of factors.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said that a cooler week than this time last year prompted stronger sales of warming food. Shoppers bought 13% more soups, 15% more frozen chips and 34% more pasta and pasta sauces.
And in the week which saw Austria win the Eurovision Song Contest, Austrian wine was the top sales performer in grocery chain’s wine showcase. Wines from the country saw a massive 390% increase in sales, as shoppers gave some of the lesser-known wine-producing countries a try.
Waitrose also enjoyed strong sales of party snacks, suggesting many were entertaining at the weekend – possibly with a Eurovision party. Shoppers bought 18% more tortilla crisps, 37% more dips, 20% more hand-cooked sharing bags of crisps and 10% more snacking nuts. It also sold 19% more party food pastry crowns and 20% more mini pizzas.
The week saw the launch of a new online wine site, Waitrose Cellar. With a focus on offering advice and expertise to customers, it features tasting videos, detailed tasting notes, regional guides and recommendations, and access to Waitrose wine specialists.