The British arm of discounter Aldi has said that its Christmas performance was boosted by record sales of its premium private label range and strong demand for beer, wine and spirits.
Aldi UK said its sales in December rose 0.4% compared to the previous year, when spending was higher than usual due to a COVID-19 lockdown and temporary closure of bars and restaurants.
Sales were up 8.1% compared to 2019, before the pandemic impacted trading.
The group, privately owned by Aldi Sued, is Britain's fifth largest supermarket group with a 7.7% market share, according to Kantar.
However, its share edged lower at some points during the pandemic, partly due to a lack of a significant online business.
Aldi UK highlighted the performance of its premium 'Specially Selected' range in December, which notched up its highest ever sales, as well as demand for alcoholic drinks.
Aldi said its Kevin the Carrot television advertising campaign chimed with consumers and it sold more than 43 million mince pies, 21 million pigs-in-blankets and 118 million Brussels sprouts.
It said shoppers also bought more than 5.5 million bottles of champagne, sparkling wine and prosecco.
Aldi and fellow German rival Lidl have grown rapidly in Britain over the last decade, forcing the established big four supermarkets - market leader Tesco, Sainsbury's Asda and Morrisons - to cut prices and compete more aggressively.
Unlike their bigger rivals Aldi and Lidl are still opening lots of new stores.
Store Opening Plans
Aldi said in September it will invest £1.3 billion (€1.56 billion) in Britain over the next two years, opening a new store every week.
"As we look ahead, the top priority for most families this year will be managing their household budgets in the face of rising living costs," said CEO Giles Hurley.
Last September, Aldi said that sales across its UK division were up 10.2% in full-year 2020.