Christmas food sales to boost grocery market

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Christmas food and drink sales predicted to boost grocery market by 1.2% (Flickr/Simon Pearson)
Christmas food and drink sales predicted to boost grocery market by 1.2% (Flickr/Simon Pearson)

Related tags: Grocery market, Igd chief executive, Supermarket

The UK grocery market is predicted to grow by 1.2% this Christmas, delivering a “strong result for manufacturers”, claims grocery think-tank IGD.

UK shoppers were expected to spend £20.6bn on food and groceries this festive period, IGD’s forecast figures revealed. Discounters would particularly benefit from the Christmas period, IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said.

“Although our forecast indicates relatively modest growth, with overall prices lower than a year ago, this would represent a strong result for retailers and manufacturers,”​ said Denney-Finch.

‘Sales of £2bn’

“We predict the discounters will enjoy growth of 6.2% this Christmas, hitting sales of £2bn. This would be another good result, although with a stronger proposition from the leading supermarkets on ranging, price and the in-store experience, we don’t think the discounters will grow by quite as much as this time last year.”

Elsewhere, supermarket Tesco said December 23 would be its busiest day of the year, with over 10M customers visiting its stores. A third of its turkeys would be sold on Friday to almost 200,000 customers, it predicted.

About 40M Brussels sprouts would be sold on December 22 and 23, the supermarket said, and 27M carrots would also be sold.

Tesco UK ceo Matt Davies said: “We all know what a busy time Christmas can be, and that’s why we have brought in an extra 15,000 festive colleagues to help customers in any way they can.”

Push the price of Bucks Fizz up

Meanwhile, manufacturers reported a 54% increase in orange juice prices in the four months to September, which could push the price of Bucks Fizz up this festive period, purchasing company Beacon revealed. A combination of the Brexit vote, crop disease and extreme weather conditions caused the price rise, it said.

Beacon category manager for drinks Kelley Walker said the price hike might mean the festive season had “a little less sparkle”​.

“Food and drink pricing, by its very nature, can often see peaks and troughs throughout the year,”​ Walker said. “But, this unique combination has severely impacted the supply and the price of orange crops.

“Price increases is a trend we predict will continue into 2017, especially with the full effects of Brexit yet to be realised.”

Christmas food and drink shopping – at a glance

  • Grocery market predicted to grow 1.2%
  • £20.6bn to be spent by shoppers
  • 40M Brussels sprouts to be bought at Tesco
  • Orange juice prices rise 54%

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