Waitrose has enjoyed strong Christmas sales.
Grocery sales for December showed a total uplift of 9.5 per cent and an increase of 3.8 per cent on a like-for like-basis (excluding new space).
Compared with the same period in 2009, grocery sales grew by 19.1 percent and like-for-like sales were up by 8.8 per cent.
The supermarket also enjoyed record-breaking sales in the week before Christmas, achieving its highest ever sales for a single week.
Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price, said: “More customers than ever before shopped across all our ranges this Christmas, from luxurious festive fare to essential Waitrose trimmings. We’ve had a very strong Christmas.”
Strong sales of prepared vegetables (up 44 per cent) provided an indicator that customers wanted more time to spend with their guests this year. Best-sellers included goose fat potatoes, up 20 per cent, parsnips in heather honey butter, up 47 per cent and mixed winter vegetables, up 83 per cent.
Customers bought 53 per cent more Christmas puddings than last year, with premium puds being the most popular. This year’s must-have was again Heston Blumenthal’s Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding, as well as the chef’s new mini version with a hidden clementine. The Waitrose Remy Martin Christmas pudding was a success too with sales up 20 per cent. Heston’s new specialties – the Black Forest Buche and Popping Candy Tart – flew off the shelves as customers chose desserts with a twist for their tables.
Total mince pie sales were up by more than a third, with Heston’s Puff Pastry Mince Pies leading the way – by Christmas Eve Waitrose had sold more than 2.4 million of them.
Creative customers were also choosing to make their own Christmas gifts with strong year on year uplifts including edible gold dust up 113 per cent, silver pearls for cake decorating, up 101 per cent, pickling spice, up 52 per cent and gingerbread house kits up 71 per cent.
Christmas facts and figures
In the week leading up to Christmas, shoppers bought:
• Over 1 million crackers
• 2.7 million Christmas cards, which if laid flat, would cover 23,408 Olympic-sized ice rinks.
• 1.1 million chipolatas.
• 1.5 million pigs in blankets (5.4 million for the whole of December).
• 1.8 million cocktail sausages.
• 400,000 slices of Heston from Waitrose Black Forest Buche (in total from 28th Nov).
• 2.4 million Heston from Waitrose mince pies (in total from 12th Oct).
• The Heston Hidden Orange Christmas pudding alone has used 39 tonnes of vine fruit – equivalent to the weight of 7 double decker buses.
• 85 lorry loads of potatoes.
• 6 million carrots.
• 2.2 million parsnips.
• 230 tonnes of Brussels sprouts.
• 2.7 million of glasses of wine.
• 5 million bags of crisps, nuts and snacks.