Sales excluding fuel at Waitrose were 1.4% higher last week (to Saturday June 9) than last year.
The supermarket chain’s IT director Mike Sackman said: “The weather was warmer than expected for many areas of the country, leading to strong sales of summer foods.”
Shoppers bought 27% more barbecue meats than last year, 23% more ice cream, 20% more cider and 14% more beer.
He added: “Our gin sales were 16% higher for the week, and we had our biggest ever week for rose wine sales, helped by our ‘25% off six bottles’ promotion”.
Meanwhile, houseplants are proving popular for the retailer, with annual sales up 33% at Waitrose and sales of ‘air plants’ up 14% month-on-month at WaitroseGarden.com (Waitrose’s online dedicated garden centre), which sells 13 different varieties.
Air plants grow without the need for soil and a big favourite with shoppers are the unusual Hanging Jellyfish air plants, with sales up 39% month-on-month. Priced at £12.99 for one or £36 for three, each Hanging Jellyfish is made from an air plant housed inside a sea urchin shell, which is hung upside down on a looped, clear line to create the illusion that it is floating in air.
Waitrose said evidence of the houseplants trend can be seen across Instagram, with an increasing number of plant-filled accounts and posts with hashtags dedicated to the craze, including #urbanjungle and #plantgang.
Jo Carman from WaitroseGarden.com said: “Houseplants are a great introduction to gardening, and the strong sales we’re seeing reflect the interior design trend for bringing the outside ‘in’ – as well as the popularity of plants to create a calming atmosphere in the home, especially in urban areas. These hanging jellyfish are a fun addition to a range of soil-free air plants and are perfect for smaller rooms.”
Tillandsia: Hanging Jellyfish