Consumers appear to have dug deep into their pockets this Christmas, with the industry reporting sales holding up well over the festive period compared with the previous year.
Craft baker John Smith, with two shops near Aberdeen, told British Baker: "Christmas trading was very good ahead of last year. The sale of Christmas cakes has mainly gone to the supermarkets, so we have been promoting a rich currant loaf and savoury products such as cheese straws. We pushed hard to compensate for the loss of cake sales and it worked."
David Gunn of Gunns Bakery in Bedfordshire said Christmas trading had held up quite well. "I’m not sure that mince pies have gone as well as usual," he said, but added that other Christmas products, such as chocolate logs, sold well.
The latest TNS figures on the UK grocery market also cast a positive light on trading over the Christmas period. For the 12 weeks to 27 December 2009, the major multiples achieved higher sales than the comparable figures in 2008. Waitrose saw a large sales rise up 16.5%. Meanwhile, The Co-operative’s sales were up 13.1%, Morrisons rose by 10.3% and Sainsbury’s sales increased by 6.9%.