Then, as now, a heatwave was responsible for a spike in volumes, which rose by 3.1%.
The combination of the hottest June for more than 40 years and the World Cup led shoppers to spend 4.5% more on groceries over the past four weeks, with sales at major supermarkets (excluding discounters) rising 3.8%.
In fact, in the week ending 30 June, supermarket sales were up 8.7%, with shoppers stocking up on fresh foods, beverages and snacks, Nielsen said.
Ice cream sales were up 28% in July, with shoppers spending £144 million on the category during the month of July, with beef burgers (+35%) and olives (+10%) also posting considerable growth.
The ongoing World Cup meant that many shoppers preferred to dine in rather than eat out during the hot spell, with fresh pizza (+14%), sushi (+14%) and prepared fruit salads (+10%) among the big winners.
Convenience store sales also saw a boost during the period, with sales accelerating to +7%.
“The last four weeks have been a strong trading period for food retailers, with volume growths the best they’ve been since July 2013," said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight.
"This is great news for retailers and manufacturers as shoppers are buying more food and drink. It’s also good news that the hot summer weather looks set to continue for the next few weeks, with the hottest days of the year expected later this week. With the summer holiday season now truly underway, retailers will be planning inspiring media campaigns supported by compelling in-store promotions, to encourage shoppers to keep spending.”
© 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.