Supermarket visits drop to seven-month low amid fuel crisis

The surge in supermarket shopping has seen a dramatic setback this month as petrol shortages fuelled a return to online buying instead.

Scores of people been queuing outside petrol stations, with visits on September 24 up by two-thirds since last year in the South of England.

The average household made 15.5 visits to the shops in the four weeks to October 3, marking the lowest monthly figure since February.

Kantar data showed the number of groceries bought online, which has declined over the past seven months, leapt from 12.2 per cent to 12.4 per cent.

READ MORE: £246m black hole looms for ‘overexposed’ supermarkets

Take-home grocery sales fell by 1.2 per cent overall in the 12 weeks to October 3, although this is still 8.1 per cent higher than before the pandemic.

Prices rose by 1.7 per cent in September compared to last year, an increase of £5.94 per family.

“The typical household spends £4726 per year in the supermarkets, so any future price rises will quickly add up,” Kantar head of retail Fraser McKevitt said.

He also noted that Christmas pudding sales had soared by 76 per cent since last year, as a “minority of very prepared shoppers took the chance to get ahead on their festive spending”.

Around 449,000 people bought the festive foodstuff in September.

Aldi said last week that its Christmas pudding sales were up 45 per cent.

The discounter is also selling 1500 turkey crowns every day, four times its usual rate for this time of year.

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