1 in 5 festive favourites sales are growing leading up to Christmas

Data from market and shopper intelligence firm IRI shows that on average, value sales for the UK’s major supermarkets are down over the last 4 weeks to Christmas.

Figures for the 12 big Christmas sectors reveal festive sales are down -1.8% compared to the same period last year. Among the list of Christmas favourites, just one in five is growing while the rest are down on average by -8.4%.

IRI analysis of data collected for the 2 weeks ending 13 December 2014 for the 12 Christmas super-categories, which include wine & champagne, beer & lager, and crisps, snack, nuts & dates, shows that sales are down relative to last year, but that the rate of decline has slowed slightly. Festive favourites, however, like Champagne are down a whopping 20%, while Christmas cake slumped to a serious decline with sales -11.4% lower than a year ago.

On the positive side, sales of stocks and gravy showed growth over the last two-week period, while dates have helped swell the crisps, snacks and nuts sector into limited growth, having declined year on year in the previous two weeks.  IRI also saw continued low-level growth in cards and decorations, as well as liqueurs and spirits, up again by 1.4% in value sales.

According to Tim Eales, strategic insight director at IRI: “It seems that the UK’s major grocery multiples are only marginally losing out on sales of the staples over Christmas but some shoppers are going elsewhere for their festive treats or maybe they are just cutting back this year.”

Christmas super categories  % CHANGE % CHANGE % CHANGE   % CHANGE
2 W/E 2 W/E 2 W/E 4 W/E
29-Nov-14 06-Dec-14 13-Dec-14   13-Dec-14
Wine & champagne -4.0 -2.8 -2.3 -3.1
Liqueur & spirits -1.4 4.3 1.4   0.1
Chocolate & Xmas selection/novelty packs -0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3
Beer & lager -1.6 -4.2 -1.0   -1.3
Poultry -5.7 -7.3 -6.3 -6.0
Gammon, beef, bacon -5.1 -5.0 -3.1   -4.1
Crisps, snacks, nuts, dates -0.5 -0.3 0.6 0.1
Cards crackers, lights, wraps, trees, decorations 3.5 3.1 2.6   2.9
Speciality cheese -0.1 0.4 -0.6 -0.4
Seasonal cakes, puddings pies -1.1 0.4 -1.3   -1.2
Frozen desserts & cream -7.8 -7.8 -8.4 -8.1
Stocks, stuffing, gravy -2.8 -0.8 2.0   -0.3
TOTAL 12 SECTORS ABOVE -2.5 -1.6 -1.2   -1.8

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