From home-smoking ovens to foodie books, Amazon.co.uk reveals its first half best sellers

Amazon.co.uk has released its Summer 2016 Trends Report: a look at shopping and entertainment trends across the UK, based on what people are buying, reading, watching and listening to on Amazon.co.uk and its mobile apps.

Doug Gurr, UK country manager of the online retail giant, said: “We now offer more than 150 million products, and this report provides a helpful guide to this year’s hottest sellers so far.

“We’ve seen growing popularity in everything from kitchen gadgets like home-smoking ovens and foodie books, to garden gear like solitary bee hives and pollinating bee logs.

“Looking ahead to the rest of 2016, we’ll continue investing in our business throughout the UK. We’ve announced plans to open two new fulfilment centres, and are creating thousands of jobs across our head office in London, three UK-based research & development centres, customer service centre and our fulfilment operations.”

Here are some of the report’s highlights:

January: With the New Year came a new must-have gadget for the kitchen: a home-smoking oven. Sales increased by 200% year-on-year as families across the UK attempted to recreate the rich smoky flavours, popularised by on-trend restaurants, in their own homes. Customer reviews showed us that people were creating everything from smoked ham to almonds, and garlic to game, on their home smokers. The beauty of the latest stove-top models meant people didn’t need to brave the January chill, enjoying their home smoked feasts indoors.

February: On Valentine’s Day, Norwich was declared the UK’s capital of love after its residents purchased more Valentine’s Day products, per capita, than anywhere else in the country. Best-selling products included heart-shaped jewellery, bouquets of red roses and music by Barry White, as well as romantic novels and even black satin sheets. Manchester is the second most romantic city based on Valentine’s Day sales, closely followed by Brighton, Bristol and Edinburgh.

March: To celebrate the March release of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ we looked at who comic fans were backing, and the results were clear. Bruce Wayne’s alter ego reigns supreme with sales of Batman action figures 66% stronger than sales of Superman action figures on Amazon.co.uk. Batman’s biggest superhero fans can be found in Nottingham, with residents buying more action figures than any other city per capita.

April: sales of brown hair dye doubled year-on-year, overtaking sales of blonde hair dye, as customers emulated the darker shades of celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Alexa Chung and Cheryl Cole. As spring approached, straight hair was out, and big bouncy tresses were in, with sales of round hairbrushes up by more than 1,600%.

May: Spring finally sprung in May and we saw customers pull together in an effort to boost Britain’s dwindling bee population as sales of bee-related products soared by 50% year-on-year.Following in the eco-conscious footsteps of celebrity bee enthusiasts like Joanna Lumley, Richard Branson and Bill Turnbull, Amazon customers were kitting their gardens out with solitary bee hives and pollinating bee logs. Some of the most popular beekeeping items purchased by customers on Amazon.co.uk included solitary bee hives, wooden and plexiglass bee tubes, and pollinating bee logs. Based on sales, Brighton was the beekeeping hotspot of the UK, followed by York, Stockton-On-Tees, St. Helens and Luton.

June: Heralded by fashion editors as one of the hottest accessories of 2016, pom-poms have made a comeback among craft enthusiasts up and down the country withAmazon.co.uk seeing a 50% surge in sales of pom-pom makers. Influenced by the catwalk and celebrity fans, including Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lily James and Millie Mackintosh, crafty Brits can’t get enough of the colourful craze, adorning clothes, accessories and homewares with their home-made pom-poms.

Overall, the top 10 favourite products of the year so far are: Pure Chimp Super Tea, Fire TV Stick, Tom Clancy’s ‘The Division’, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fire Tablet 7in display, ‘Blackstar’ by David Bowie, Vintage lightbulb, Wunderbrow brow gel, fresh amethyst bouquet and Lego Star Wars Rey’s Speeder.

When it comes to reading, healthy eating titles ruled the printed books chart for the first half, proving that the UK is embracing the trend well beyond the New Year resolutions period. Leading the pack is ‘Lean In 15’ by Joe Wicks, who rose to fame through social media and subsequently recorded the highest ever number of pre-orders on a food and drink title through Amazon.co.uk. He dominated our chart during the first half and pre-orders on his second book were also incredibly strong. In second place is ‘Foolproof Cooking’ by Mary Berry. The third spot is taken by ‘Deliciously Ella Every Day’ by Ella Woodward, followed by ‘The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet’ by Dr Michael Mosley in fourth position. And at number nine is ‘The Sirt Food Diet’ by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten 

Geographically, Southerners kick-started the year with the best intentions of all regions, purchasing organic coconut oil, ‘Lean In 15’ by Joe Wicks, spiralizers and ‘Deliciously Ella Every Day’ by Ella Woodward.

In the capital, health, fitness and wellbeing were the buzzwords during the first half. Healthy eating guides and cookbooks proved to be the most popular books across London, followed by guides on how to achieve happiness and de-clutter the hectic lives of city dwellers. Sleep improvement and stress reduction have also been a high priority with sleep masks and essential oils appearing top of many people’s shopping lists.

But purchases varied across the capital. Health and fitness was the number one priority for Londoners living north of the river, with bestsellers including: Fitbit HR Health (a wristband that tracks the wearer’s heart rate), Nutri Ninja blenders, activity trackers, vegetable blenders and ‘Lean In 15’ by Joe Wicks. North Londoners also got behind celebrity diet crazes. Following reports that Katy Perry drinks apple cider vinegar to boost her energy levels, sales of Bragg Organic Cider Vinegar rocketed.

For south Londoners, diet and digestion are a key focus  with Ella Woodward’s latest book selling like healthy hotcakes. There has also been a surge in sales of healthy juices and fresh stock this spring, including aloe vera juice and organic chicken and beef bone broth.

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