Waitrose customers enjoy the outdoor life

A warm week of sunshine, boosted by the excitement of The Ashes and Wimbledon, meant sales of summer food, drink and non-food thrived last week (to July 11) at Waitrose.

Total divisional sales (excluding petrol) were 4.4% higher than last year for the grocery chain.

Commercial director John Williamson said the success of Pick Your Own Offers continued to grow, with items in the new promotional scheme featuring high on shoppers’ lists.

He added that 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% and Mini Melton Pork Pies sales soaring by 66%. Cool bag sales rose by 106% and sales of melamine dinnerware, designed for alfresco eating, were up by 178%.

Sun-seeking shoppers also stocked up on snacks and drinks on the go, as picnic favourites including sushi (up 21%) and chilled snacks (up 44%) saw excellent sales.

Mark Williamson noted that barbecues were taking place all over the country last week too, as sales of barbecue meats including kebabs and burgers rose by 24%, pre-packed rolls shot up by 18%, and charcoal sales grew by 47%.

He said frozen favourites were ahead with ice cream and frozen fruit sales rising by 22% and 45% respectively.

He added that “it was a sweet week for fresh fruit and vegetables,” with sales of cherries rising by 31% and sweet potatoes increasing by 25%. Pre-packed salads and fruit were also up by 15% and 17% respectively, “as shoppers grabbed a light side dish and dessert for summer gatherings”.

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