Supermarket sales for ice-cream and soft drinks rise as summer begins

The warm weather and early June heatwave has caused supermarkets in the UK to see a surge in sales for ice cream and soft drinks, as Brits embrace the beginning of summer.

According to new data released by NIQ, (formerly known as NielsenIQ), weekly grocery sales rose to £2.9bn in the week ending 17 June, the second highest so far this year after Easter.

In the last four weeks there were 34m extra visits to stores compared to last year, 30% more than the additional visits recorded in early May.

As a result, shoppers indulged in seasonal items and impulse purchases, with sales for ice-cream up by 47%, sports and energy drinks – 31%, suncare products – 74% and hayfever remedies – 25%.

Additionally, the warm weather caused a boost in sales for seasonal drink items like flavoured non carbs (23%), mineral water (25%) and cider (22%).

Meanwhile, Total Till grocery sales remain steady at 12.4%, a slight increase on the 12.3% rise recorded in May.

The warm weather also encouraged Brits to shop in-store, with NIQ revealing a rise in in-store sales by 13.4% over the four week period. This was a significant boost for the convenience channel, where sales grew 11.3% in the four week period, while supermarkets grew by 8.7%.

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However, this led to slower sales growth of 4.1% online, with the online share of FMCG sales dipping to 10.4%.

Discounters also maintained strong growth, with a sales increase for Aldi at 22.2 % and Lidl at 18.7%.

NIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins, said: “It’s no surprise that online grocery sales have taken a bit of a hit as there was less of a need to order in a big grocery shop.”

“We expect to see supermarket volumes continue to improve slowly, as food inflation peaks.

“However, what shoppers buy and where they shop will continue to be strongly influenced by the continued squeeze on disposable incomes,” Watkins added.

“This means that spending over the next few months is still going to be focused on essential needs but as we continue to enjoy the sunshine this summer, there’ll be an increase in impulse spending on cold drinks and treats which is an upside for supermarkets in general.”

The news comes as food inflation in the UK has continued to slow since April, but is still up nearly 15% since the start of the year.



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