Sales of Bigham’s ready meals rocketed by 86% and Traditional British meals also increased by 20% compared with the same period last year, said the upmarket supermarket chain.
Sales of the Waitrose food-to-go range rose by 25% year-on-year, with sushi and salads up 40% and 64% respectively, it claimed.
In addition, last week’s burst of warmer weather pushed sales of hand-held ices up 11%, driven by Waitrose Seriously Mini Italian Gelati Sticks and Seriously Creamy Salted Caramel ice creams.
Sales of adult ice lollies climbed by 28% year-on-year, with Waitrose’s new Coconut Water Lollies selling particularly well.
Shoppers also appeared to be putting extra effort into their alfresco dinner parties – with lumpfish caviar, a popular choice for canapes, up 9% year on year, said Waitrose.
That said, Waitrose’s provisional divisional sales, excluding fuel, fell by 18.4% last week compared with the same period last year. However, the retailer attributed the drop to the fact that the equivalent trading week last year was Easter week, when sales were very strong.
“The drag effect of food price deflation on fresh produce also continues to be apparent,” said Waitrose in a trading statement.
“To put this into context, the price of an iceberg lettuce this year is 60p compared to £1 last year, and a pack of mixed peppers now costs £1 compared to £1.75 a year ago.”