Fruit & Veg Sales Growth Helps Lift UK Retail Performance: Nielsen
Fruit and vegetable sales grew at 4.6% in value and volume terms in the UK in the four week period to 11 August, helping to lift overall industry growth, according to Nielsen.
Grocery sales growth stood at +4.2% for the period, with shoppers spending more as a result of the warmer temperatures and prolonged heatwave. The last week of July, in which the hottest days were recorded, saw the strongest performance of the four-week period.
Volume growth at UK supermarkets rose to +2.9%, compared to +2.2% for the previous four-week period, with two thirds of this growth coming from soft drinks and fruit and vegetable sales.
Soft drink sales saw value growth of +29% and volume growth of +20% in the period, as thirsty shoppers sought to cool down.
"As one of the hottest summers on record, these past 12 weeks have given a real boost to sales at supermarkets," said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight. "This is welcome news for the industry after a lacklustre start to the year following the ‘beast from the east’ and a squeeze on spending as inflation continued to bite.
"Over the last four weeks, we also saw promotional activity fall back to 26% of sales, the lowest since March 2017. Looking ahead, retailers and brands will begin to invest more in targeted promotions around upcoming events such as back to school, Halloween and Christmas to encourage incremental spend and will be less reliant on general promotions around the weekly shop."
After The World Cup
The August findings contrast with the July Total Till results from Nielsen, where sales of fresh meat and alcohol were up during the World Cup.
'But as the football tournament came to a close and the hot weather persisted, shoppers swapped steaks for salads to cool down from the July heat,' Nielsen said in a statement.
Nielsen added that it expects value and volume growth to remain positive going into the second half of the year, which is a 'very different picture' to the same period last year, when volumes were in decline.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.