Sales of a slow-cooking water oven are rocketing at John Lewis as Christmas shoppers get into their stride.
The retailer describes general trading conditions as still “challenging”, but says that sales of Christmas merchandise are bucking the trend. And amongst the most notable successes are SousVide water ovens, sales of which are up by very nearly 700% on the same time last year.
Using the SousVide product – which is roughly bread-maker sized – the food is first vacuum-sealed and then immersed in the water bath and slow cooked, creating extra tender, flavoursome results. The method has long been used by gourmet chefs.
John Lewis is offering two models, retailing at £299 and £349.
In its mid-week Christmas trading update last week, the retailer said that other winners included festive hampers, with sales up by a third on the same week last year and selling at a rate of one hamper every 15 minutes.
Also moving out particularly well were advent calendars, charity plush toy Hugo the Hedgehog, iPads, tablet computers and headphones.
John Lewis said that despite the cautious mood of shoppers generally, it was evident that nothing would come between its customers and having a good Christmas. However, its mid-week figures were 0.6% down overall over the same period in 2010.