Trading comments from Waitrose Commercial Director Mark Williamson, for week ending 11 July 2015
A warm week of sunshine, boosted by the excitement of The Ashes and Wimbledon, meant sales of summer food, drink and non-food thrived. Total provisional divisional sales (excluding fuel) are 4.8 per cent higher than last year.
The success of Pick Your Own offers continues to grow, with items in the new promotional scheme featuring high on shoppers' lists.
As the British sporting season reached fever pitch, customers were clearly enjoying life outdoors; sales of summer favourites had a storming week, with quiche sales up 30 per cent and Mini Melton Pork Pies sales soaring by 66 per cent. Cool bag sales rose by 106 per cent and sales of melamine dineware, designed for al fresco eating, were up by 178 per cent. Sun-seeking shoppers also stocked up on snacks and drinks on the go, as picnic favourites including sushi (up 21 per cent) and chilled snacks (up 44 per cent) saw excellent sales.
Celebratory mini bottles of fizz, including San Leo Prosecco, were a best-seller, with sales up 82% compared to the week before. Rose wine, a popular seasonal tipple, was also a hit with customers, as sales bloomed by 46 per cent.
Barbecues were taking place all over the country last week, as sales of barbecue meats including kebabs and burgers rose by 24 per cent, pre-packed rolls shot up by 18 per cent, and charcoal sales grew by 47 per cent. As veggies were determined not to miss out, sales of frozen vegetarian burgers and sausages suitable for the barbecue increased by 51 per cent.
Frozen favourites stormed ahead with ice cream and frozen fruit sales rising by 22 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.
It was a sweet week for fresh fruit and vegetables, with sales of cherries rising by 31 per cent and sweet potatoes increasing by 25 per cent. Prepacked salads and fruit were also up by 15 per cent and 17 per cent respectively, as shoppers grabbed a light side dish and dessert for summer gatherings.