Customers reach for comfort foods as autumn term begins

Customers reach for comfort foods as autumn term begins

Waitrose trading comments from Waitrose Retail Director, Rob Collins, for week ending 5 September 2015.
The start of the new school term, together with a period of cooler weather, helped trigger the arrival of autumnal eating habits with soups and vegetables helping drive sales. Divisional sales for the week, excluding fuel, were up 1.2 per cent, compared with last year.

Meats suited to slow-cooking enjoyed high demand.  Sales of pork shoulder joints were up 73 per cent, while lamb shoulder shanks leapt 55 per cent.  Mince and ox cheek were also favourite choices, each seeing a 23 per cent rise in demand.

The autumnal feel translated into many people turning to warming foods. Canned soup sales surged 12 per cent and sales of chicken pies increased 45 per cent. Our beef casserole ready meal saw demand rise 30 per cent compared with an 11.5 per cent rise in our ready meals ranges. Customers also bought nearly a quarter more prepared vegetables and 17 per cent more sweet potatoes.

Another sign of autumnal habits was the increase in demand for house plants, which increased 14 per cent, and our dining range, up 29 per cent, as people spent more time in their homes. Similarly, as customers decided to take their time indoors with their shopping, our cafés and grazing areas had a 25 per cent rise in sales.

After the Great British Bake Off’s gluten-free technical challenge our free-from range of products had an 18 per cent sales increase while demand for our range of baking parchments, bags and wraps rose by 10 per cent.

Despite the weather, our shops at Welcome Break motorway service stations saw sales increase by 14 per cent as people continued to travel the country.

For further information, please contact:
Rob Cadwell
Senior Press Officer
01344 826182

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