Northern retailer Booths has reported a 9.1% increase in volume sales of bakery items for the four months in the run-up to Christmas.

Bakery value sales, meanwhile, only rose 0.3% for 1 September to 31 December 2019 versus the same period in 2018. This, said Booths bakery buyer Keith Parkinson, was a result of the retailer reformulating its offer to hit better price points, in particular across its bite and stollen ranges.

Shareable formats, such as bites and bars, were a strong focus for Booths over the festive period, with NPD including Belgian Chocolate Brownie and Blondie Christmas Trees (pictured above), Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, Gingerbread Crumble Slices and Marshmallow Milkshake Bites introduced.

Mince pies also performed well over the Christmas period with one million Bells of Lazonby mince pies sold and 122% volume growth reported for gluten-free versions.

This was partially aided by Booths’ relationship with Amazon, with three times the amount of mince pies sold via the online retailer in 2019 versus the previous year.

Booths’ own-label party food and bakery lines also performed well in the business-to-business (wholesale) market. Overall business-to-business sales were up by over 50%.

This was against a backdrop of good sales for Booths over the key Christmas and New Year period, with a 3.5% sales increase over the key three-week trading period to 5 January.

“Booths performed very well this Christmas,” said chairman and CEO Edwin Booth. “Customers have confidence in our commitment to deliver excellent service and exceptional food and drink.  At a time when customers shop at several retailers for Christmas, including discounters, they trust Booths for the centrepiece and all the trimmings.”