Supermarket chain Waitrose saw its highest growth rate in a normal trading week for six months last week (to September 20), with sales – excluding petrol – up 8.4%, driven by mild weather and strong promotional activity.
Customers made the most of the Indian summer by enjoying alfresco dining. Sales of barbecue food soared by 65%, while prepacked fish sales increased by 21%. Demand for bottled water and adult soft drinks, such as pressés, also increased, up 27% and 30% respectively. Ice cream sales increased by 29% and held ice creams proved particularly popular, up 40%.
Waitrose personnel director Helen Hyde commented: “As autumn draws nearer, seasonal fruits such as apples are flavour of the month. Bramley apples were up 500% on last week as customers baked comforting pies and crumbles. Sales of organic apples also increased by 10.8% compared to last year.
“The celebration of Organic Month also saw other organic lines performing well. Our customers proved that provenance is still a priority, as organic tomatoes increased by 21.2%. Organic cucumbers and Romano peppers also saw a rise in sales, up 27.5% and 35% respectively.”