41 million Brussels sprouts expected to be sold every day in the week before Christmas

This could be the biggest Christmas ever for grocery sales

This could be the biggest Christmas ever for grocery sales

Take-home grocery sales are set to surpass £13 billion for the first time ever this December, industry analyst Kantar expects.

The prediction comes on the back of Kantar’s latest figures, for the four weeks to 26 November 2023, which show that sales grew by 6.3 per cent to reach £11.7 billion.

“The scene is set for record-breaking spend through the supermarket tills this Christmas,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar. “The festive period is always a bumper one for the grocers with consumers buying on average 10 per cent more items than in a typical month. Some of the increase, of course, will also be driven by the ongoing price inflation we’ve seen this year.

“While the rate at which grocery prices are rising is still well above the norm, the good news for shoppers is that inflation is continuing to come down. It dropped again in November to 9.1 per cent. The retailers are also battling it out to offer value to consumers during this important month for trading and are doing what they can to keep prices low.

“In a sign of just how fierce the contest is between the grocers, the cost of a Christmas dinner for four has risen well below the overall inflation rate this year at 1.3 per cent, as some items on our festive plate have actually fallen in price. Brussels sprouts are now 4.3 per cent cheaper than 12 months ago, so there’s no excuse for people not to enjoy them.”

Discounts and deals

Retailers are putting the emphasis on own-label lines and promotions to attract people through their doors, with Kantar data showing that spending on offers hit its highest level in over two years in the latest four-week period at 28.4 per cent.

“The amount of money spent on deals usually leaps in the run up to Christmas, but this year is already looking a bit different,” said McKevitt. “We’re well above 2022 levels, with customers making an additional £180 million in savings this November versus 12 months ago.”

Friday 22 December is predicted to be the single busiest day in store as people rush to make sure they have what they need ahead of Christmas. Nearly 41m Brussels sprouts will pass through the tills every day in the week before 25 December.

Battle for share

The two biggest supermarkets continued their fightback in the battle for market share last month, with Sainsbury’s delivering its largest market share gain in over a decade this November, taking an additional 0.4 percentage points to reach 15.6 per cent.

Tesco also put in a strong performance to increase its market share to 27.5 per cent following a growth in sales of 8.6 per cent, marking the fifth month in a row that Britain’s largest retailer has made gains.”

Lidl is again the fastest-growing grocer, boosting sales by 14.2 per cent over the 12 weeks to 26 November to take a record high share of 7.8 per cent. Aldi increased sales by 11.1 per cent and now holds 9.6 per cent of the market.

Sales at Asda and Morrisons were up by 2.6 and 3.7 per cent respectively to give them a 13.4 and 8.7 share of the market each.