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UK grocery sales record growth

Between March and May, UK supermarket sales grew at their fastest rate for at least 26 years, according to data published by Kantar. Overall grocery sales were up 14.3% in the 12 weeks up to May 17th. The good weather prompted shoppers to go to parks and beaches, leading to a bump in sales of food for picnics. The VE Day bank holiday on May 8 made it the biggest shopping day of the month, with £488 million spent on groceries.

According to the report, while shoppers are returning to supermarkets, the lack of hungry workers in offices and school closures is offsetting some of the growth. While online shopping has hit a new peak, and now accounts for 11.5% of all grocery sales, customers have started returning to stores, albeit sticking with bigger weekly shops.

Kantar head of retail insight, Fraser McKevitt, said: “People have been working their way through their store cupboards over the past couple of months and some will now be spending a bit more on each visit to the supermarket to replenish supplies. While these are bumper figures, it remains true that the overall picture for some grocers will be less positive, as supermarkets continue to feel the impact of a considerable reduction in on-the-go spend on meals, drinks and snacks. Those categories usually add up to £1 billion over the course of 12 weeks and they aren’t included in these numbers.”

As shoppers are now visiting supermarkets on average 3.5 times a week, this constitutes 100 million fewer trips. At the same time, average spend per trip has increased 50% to £27.41. Families with adult children have seen the greatest increase in spending, with an average monthly spend of £618 compared with £545 last May.

Meanwhile, online shopping  deliveries are up 250% year-on-year. “The grocers have attracted a new group of customers, in particular older demographics, and we expect some of them may continue using online services and enjoying the convenience that home delivery provides,” said McKevitt.

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Price cuts push up pepper sales in UK

PEPPERS Red - Edited

Peppers among top 25 food items, with mixed colour packs the most popular

People in the UK have been eating more peppers but paying less for them. So while retail sales of peppers in the UK are up 10.7% in volume on a year ago, Kantar Worldpanel data shows they’re down 10.4% in value.

Comparing figures for the 52 weeks to December 7 with the same period a year before, the volume of peppers per buyer rose 8% to 5.43kg but their spend on peppers fell 12.7%  to £15.66. The price per kilogram of peppers dropped 20% – or £0.68 – to £2.88, outweighing the gained volume.

In total sales, the volume rose 10,253 tons to 105,889 tons while the value slid £35.2 million to £305.1 million.

According to Kantar, the price decrease took place across both full-price and promoted peppers. The level of promotions has not just been higher, they have been more generous compared to the previous year and mainly involved temporary price cuts rather than an increase in volume-based offers such as multi-buy deals.

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source: Kantar Worldpanel

Consumers mainly buying pre-packed, non-organic peppers

Meanwhile, peppers were 17th among the top 25 most bought items in food baskets ordered from last year.

Data from its 50,000 monthly shoppers for the 12 months to the end of last November shows that on average, 19.45% – or about one in five – of all shopping baskets had peppers in them. Almost all these peppers were pre-packed and non-organic.

It also shows a small spike in pepper sales in January after which they tapered to a fairly consistent level for the rest of the year.

In terms of pepper types, mixed packs were the most popular, followed by red peppers.