A week of major outdoor events and warmer weather helped drive shopping patterns at Waitrose in the week to September 13, with divisional sales (excluding petrol) up 6.5% compared with last year.
Spectator events, such as the Proms – held at parks across the country – and the Invictus Games spurred sales of outdoor food and picnic staples. Demand for bottled water surged by almost a third, while fizzy drinks saw an 18% increase. Alfresco favourites such as quiche jumped 26%, while appetisers and dips saw 25% and 12% rises respectively.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said: “With autumn on the horizon, customers’ dining habits are changing with the weather rather than the season. As the sun came out so did the barbecues, and we sold 4,000 more bags of charcoal than at this time last year. Our slow-cooked barbecue meats shot up 48%, with demand for fish up 24%.”
The weather propelled ice cream high up the shopping list too, with sales up 25%, and soft fruit also saw demand surge 16%, with blueberries up 28%.