UK shoppers set to spend £20.6billion of Christmas food and groceries

UK shoppers are set to spend a bumper £20.6billion on food and groceries this Christmas, according to figures released today.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 10:18 am
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 12:58 pm
How much do you think you'll spend on your Christmas food? Picture: Credit Pressmaster/Shutterstock.
How much do you think you'll spend on your Christmas food? Picture: Credit Pressmaster/Shutterstock.

Forecast figures from food and grocery research and training charity IGD predict 1.2% growth in the UK grocery market over the Christmas period, with online shopping showing the fastest growth.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: “Although our forecast indicates relatively modest growth, with overall prices lower than a year ago, this would represent a strong result for retailers and manufacturers.

“We expect online shopping again to generate the fastest growth this Christmas, with a predicted 9.3 per cent uplift, generating £1.2bn in sales. The launch of Amazon Fresh and of Aldi Online this year extends shoppers’ choice and people will also benefit from more one-hour delivery slots, shorter lead times and the growing availability of click and collect from established players.”

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However, despite the boom in sales, shoppers are still being savvy when it comes to their festive buys. Almost half (46%) collect coupon points on their loyalty cards to use at Christmas.

Denney-Finch added: “By mid-November, over a half of shoppers (53%) had already bought some food and grocery items for Christmas but this doesn’t mean we will avoid the usual late rush. Six in 10 (63%) of those early shoppers expect to use up and replace at least some of the festive items already purchased.

“While many shoppers do shop in advance, this is also a time for spontaneous and adventurous purchases. Over half (53%) say they buy food and grocery products on impulse at Christmas and the true figure is probably even higher. One in four (40%) is particularly open to trying new products at this time of year and a quarter (26%) say browsing in supermarkets helps inspire them for their Christmas meals, so this is a time for retailers to put the spotlight on innovation.”