Preparations for Easter helped grow divisional sales – excluding fuel – up 1.9% compared with last year for Waitrose last week (to March 21).
The upmarket grocery chain reported that as the weather turned colder, customers turned to more comforting food with sales of slow-cook meat up nearly 56%. Sales of ready meals also increased by 13%, with Indian ready meals performing particularly well, up 41% on last year.
With Easter round the corner, shoppers appear to be making more health-motivated choices when it comes to their Easter treats, according to Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas. Sales of gluten-free hot cross buns and Waitrose’s gluten-free Easter eggs both soared in popularity, up 124% and 890% respectively.
Easter decorations were up 73% on last year and customers were also preparing gifts for one another as sales of gift wrap increased 27%. As shoppers prepared to bake Easter treats for their friends and families, sales of Easter home baking kits also increased, up 10%.
Rupert Thomas added: “With warmer weather on the horizon, horticulture sales were up over 13% compared to the year before, as customers prepared their gardens for spring. Seasonal British produce will also be at the forefront of customers’ minds as spring favourites Jersey Royals and British raspberries become available in Waitrose shops this week.”