UK shoppers are set to spend a bumper £20.6 billion on food and groceries this Christmas, according to figures released this week.
Forecast figures from food and grocery research and training charity IGD predict 1.2 per cent 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.”
However, despite the boom in sales, shoppers are still being savvy when it comes to their festive buys. Almost half (46 per cent) collect coupon points on their loyalty cards to use at Christmas.
Denney-Finch added: “By mid-November, over a half of shoppers (53 per cent) had already bought some food and grocery items for Christmas but this doesn’t mean we will avoid the usual late rush. Six in ten (63 per cent) 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 per cent) say they buy food and grocery products on impulse at Christmas and the true figure is probably even higher. One in four (40 per cent) is particularly open to trying new products at this time of year and a quarter (26 per cent) say browsing in supermarkets helps inspire them for their Christmas meals, so this is a time for retailers to put the spotlight on innovation.”