Retail food spend fell in April, according to the latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Sales volumes in the food sector decreased 3.8% – the lowest since June 2011 – while the amount spent fell by 0.2%, which is the largest contraction on record, said the ONS.

It added that “the contraction in the quantity bought within the food sector leads to the level of goods bought in this sector falling to its lowest point since December 2003”.

Feedback for larger retailers pointed the finger at the cold weather impacting sales, particularly with spring/summer ranges.

Total retail sales increased by 0.5% compared to April last year, with spend also up. by 1.3%.