Forecasts of turbulent weekend weather, clocks going back and the approach of Halloween combined to put shoppers in an autumnal mood in the week to October 26, according to Waitrose.
Total sales (excluding petrol) were up 9% for the upmarket grocery chain in the week to October 26 compared to the same week last year.
“The Great British Bake Off is still encouraging cooks to dust off their aprons,” said Waitrose finance director Tom Athron.
Sales of cooking bowls soared 107%, flour rose 30% and cake sprinkles and decorations were up 25% and 16% respectively as bakers had a go at their own ‘star bakes’.
The onset of darker nights saw sales of light bulbs lit up by 21% and the prospect of Halloween resulted in themed confectionery sales up 24%, sales of pumpkins up 14% and spooky home decorations up an eye-popping 100%.
Predictions of stormy conditions for the weekend meant many decided to stay in and cook a comforting dinner, with slow cook meat up 28% and meat accompaniments up 21%.
The week also saw Waitrose reach the milestone of its 300th branch in the UK, located in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.