Bananas, chocolate eggs and alcohol-free drinks: Sainsbury’s 2022 in review

Sainsbury’s has revealed its top food trends during 2022, with bananas, chocolate eggs and alcohol-free beverages taking centre stage.

Using data from 17.6 million Nectar customers, the retailer – which upgraded its profits following a bumper Christmas earlier this week – has revealed which products were the most popular with shoppers over the past year.

With over a billion bananas being sold throughout the year and alcohol-free beverages flying off shelves like never before, there was a bigger focus on healthy eating than previous years.

As 2022 kicked off, more people also took on dry January, with Sainsbury’s reporting that purchases on alcohol-free products were up by 20% year-on-year. Veganuary also proved popular, with vegan product purchases up by nearly 9% compared to 2021.

2022 was also the year of national celebrations fuelled by food and drink, from the Platinum Jubilee weekend to the England Women’s Football team Euro victory.

Customers bought over 900,000 bags of crisps and nuts, over 125,000 dips and nearly 1.5 million bottles and cans of beer on the day the England Women’s won the Euros.

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Shrove Tuesday was a key seasonal focus for the big 4 grocer, as over 900,000 lemons and nearly 2 million boxes of eggs were purchased in the week leading up to Pancake Day.

Additionally, Easter saw 10.7 million chocolate eggs purchased in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, as well as 3.5 million hot cross buns.

The rest of the summer had plenty more opportunities to celebrate together, as Wimbledon saw customers buying 3.5 million portions of strawberries and 341,000 pots of cream.

As the school holidays started, Nectar also kickstarted The Great Fruit & Veg Challenge, running for 7 weeks.

The digital challenge was popular with 88 million portions of fruit purchased, up 59% compared to the 2021 challenge. Customers purchased over a billion bananas, beating the number of portions purchased for apples and oranges combined.

Halloween’s popularity continued to grow with nearly 800,000 customers buying a pumpkin, up 6% compared to last year.

As December came around, Sainsbury’s customers bought a whopping 3.5 million pots of gravy for the big day. Shoppers also picked up over 1 million packets of Yorkshire puddings to accompany their Christmas Day feast.

“Nectar’s Year in Review is always a moment I look forward to as not only is it exciting to discover my top purchases, it’s also fantastic to see the products our customers love and the celebrations and trends they enjoy,” director of loyalty & CRM at Sainsbury’s, Alex Naisby said.

“Last year we came together to celebrate so many moments as a nation, and as usual food and drink was at the heart of those milestone moments.

“We’re delighted to have helped our customers to indulge and celebrate, but also supporting them to make healthier choices. I can’t wait to see how customer shopping habits change throughout 2023,” Naisby added.



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