Home baking ‘popular as ever’ with Waitrose shoppers

BBC TV series ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and Rugby World Cup at Waitrose teamed up last week (to September 26) to deliver a divisional sales increase of 2.1% compared with the same week last year, excluding petrol.

The week’s Bake Off episode – in which contestants created cream horns for the signature bake and mokatines for the technical challenge – combined with strong promotional activity to inspire shoppers, the grocery multiple said.

Sales of own-label frozen puff pastry were up 23%, including the Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients puff block, which was up 25%. Almond sales rose by 76%, fondant icing by 24% and jam by 16%.

Home baking sales are certainly on the rise too: dried fruit was up 37% and sales of colours and essences were up 25%. Sales of Waitrose large British Blacktail eggs were also up 26%.

Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson added: “It was another feast for sports fans, with the Rugby World Cup continuing to provide the opportunity to gather family and friends. Frozen party food sales increased by 60% and frozen pizza sales were up 17%.

Sales of our bottled ale selection, which includes products from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, saw a significant rise, too, up 25% up on last year, while canned ales and stouts were up 2 8%.”

He noted that the supermarket chain opened two new branches and pointed out that Little Waitrose Heathfield in East Sussex “exceeded all expectation and courses at our new cookery school, which forms part of our new branch in King’s Cross, are already in huge demand”.

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