The recent cool weather has caused supermarket fresh produce sales to fall 1.4 per cent year-on-year, Nielsen data has revealed.
Overall supermarket sales increased by 2.5 per cent in the four weeks to 12 August, according to the retail analyst. This is less than half the rate of growth seen the month before (5.1 per cent), when the UK enjoyed above-average temperatures.
“It’s a bit of a reality check after two months of really impressive growth, as shopping patterns were disrupted by the return of cooler weather and people going on their summer holidays,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s head of retailer and business insight for the UK.
“Although the market has recovered from the low-point 12 months ago, the return of inflation and rising concerns about the economy mean the weekly grocery shop is now the most popular target for people to cut down on household expenses."
While the cooler weather was beneficial to the confectionery sector, which enjoyed a seven per cent sales rise year on year, fresh produce sales dropped 1.4 per cent and soft drink sales slipped 6.1 per cent.
The Nielsen report also revealed that 30 per cent of consumers now purchase cheaper grocery brands in a bid to save money. But Watkins said shoppers are “still willing to purchase affordable indulgences in food and drink”.
As such, “maintaining promotional activity will be key to supermarkets increasing sales in the coming months in the absence of any seasonal events or the return of hot weather," he said.