Mince pie sales soar as festive spend rises £1bn

Supermarket grocery sales rose by £1bn over the festive period as shoppers traded up to premium products.

Bakery was among the categories that benefited from a record £469m spend on premium own-label lines, according to Kantar Worldpanel, which has published grocery market share figures for the 12 weeks to 31 December (see table below).

Last year bought a raft of innovation to the mince pie fixture, including what are claimed to be the first supermarket vegan pies and gingerbread mince pies, which were highly commended in British Baker’s Christmas Stars competition.

Kantar data has shown that mince pie sales rose 13.2% year on year over the festive period, while overall supermarket sales increased 3.8%.

“Shoppers parted with £747m on 22 December alone, making the Friday before Christmas the busiest shopping day ever recorded,” said Kantar Worldpanel retail and consumer insight head Fraser McKevitt.

“For most of the year, location tends to be the most important factor in choosing where to shop, but over Christmas, customers are actually prepared to travel further in search of specific festive products or better value.”

Promotional levels were at their lowest since Christmas 2009, reported Kantar, with 36% of spending on items on offer this year.

Among the retailers, Aldi and Lidl tied for fastest-growing supermarket, both increasing sales by 16.8% year on year, bucking what can be a “tricky” time for discounters, said McKevitt.

“Discounters tend to lose a little market share compared to earlier in the year as many shoppers return to the more traditional supermarkets in search of old favourites.  Rising to the challenge, Aldi and Lidl collectively managed to attract nearly one million additional households during the past three months.”

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