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Retail

Soft Drinks, Confectionery The Best Performing UK Grocery Categories Over Christmas: Nielsen

Confectionery and soft drinks were among the best-performing categories in the UK grocery market over the past four weeks, as shoppers stocked up for Christmas, according to Nielsen.

Soft drink sales were up 2.4% in the period, with cola up 6.2%, accounting for £125 million worth of sales alone, Nielsen data found.

In addition, confectionery sales were up 2.2%, with chocolate up 2.5%, achieving £435 million worth of sales.

However, despite the strong performance from these categories, sales figures are lower than in 2018, Nielsen said.

In terms of Christmas staples, fresh turkey sales were up 0.5% to £70 million, however sales of fresh beef were down 3.6% and sales of fresh produce were down 1.4%.

In the two weeks up to 28 December, grocery sales totalled £6.2 billion, which was a 0.2% value sales decrease on the same period the previous year.

Cautious Spending

According to Nielsen, the dip in sales is due to a number of factors, including increased competition, price cuts and lower inflation.

“Despite the festive season, consumers are evidently remaining cautious by taking advantage of greater price competition and special offers," commented Mike Watkins, Nielsen's UK head of retailer and business insight.

"It’s possible that shoppers have also turned to healthier options as sales of no and low alcohol beer, cider and lager increasing by +24% in the last four weeks, whilst total category sales in beer, wine and spirits have declined slightly by -0.1%. However, consumers have opted to indulge through other means - which helps to explain the uplift in sales for confectionery and soft drinks over the festive period.”

© 2020 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

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