Tea, cof­fee and bis­cuits sales rocket as home work­ers tuck in

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Si­mon Foy

HOME work­ers spent big on their own re­fresh­ments dur­ing lock­down af­ter cafes and can­teens shut, fig­ures show.

An ex­tra £24m was spent on tea and cof­fee in su­per­mar­kets dur­ing the three months to July 12, ac­cord­ing to data firm Kan­tar, and £19m on bis­cuits.

The fig­ures also show that Mor­risons was a ma­jor win­ner as su­per­mar­ket sales surged, with the largest rev­enue rise among the so-called Big Four.

Sales at the Brad­ford-based chain jumped 17.4pc, for its high­est mar­ket share in five years. Ri­val Tesco posted growth of 15.1pc, with Sains­bury’s up 13.5pc and Asda climb­ing 11pc. Ice­land had the big­gest over­all rise in sales of the 10 re­tail­ers sur­veyed, up 34.1pc.

Su­per­mar­kets also ben­e­fited from the re­turn of the weekly shop, with cus­tomers spend­ing 35pc more on an av­er­age trip than last year.

Over­all, gro­cery sales soared 16.9pc in the 12-week pe­riod, the fastest rate since Kan­tar’s records be­gan in 1994. How­ever, shop­pers have ten­ta­tively re­turned to more nor­mal rou­tines in the past four weeks as sales growth dropped to 14.6pc, the sur­vey found.

Fraser McKe­vitt, head of re­tail at Kan­tar, said: “As lock­down re­stric­tions are grad­u­ally eased and non-es­sen­tial re­tail out­lets re­open, some con­sumers are slowly re­sum­ing their pre-Covid rou­tines and shop­ping habits. How­ever, we are clearly a long way off a com­plete re­turn to nor­mal­ity.”

In a sign that a re­turn to nor­mal con­sump­tion has been timid, home al­co­hol sales re­mained strong over the past month, up two-fifths de­spite pubs and bars re­open­ing.

Gro­cery in­fla­tion stood at 3.6pc for the 12-week pe­riod. Prices are ris­ing fastest for items such as cook­ing sauces, ba­con and canned soft drinks, Kan­tar said, but fall­ing for fresh poul­try, but­ter and bread.

On­line gro­cery sales have re­mained ro­bust since lock­down re­stric­tions were eased, grow­ing 92pc in the past month.

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