Record-breaking December predicted for UK grocery sales

An Asda store in the U.K.

Following a month in which U.K. grocery sales soared 6.3 percent to GBP 11.7 billion (USD 14.7 billion, EUR 13.7 billion), London, U.K.-based data and analytics firm Kantar is projecting that U.K. grocery sales will surpass GBP 13 billion (USD 16.4 billion, EUR 15 billion) for the first time ever in a monthly period this December, suggesting that the nation’s consumers are less wary to shop as inflation continues to ease.

“The scene is set for record-breaking spending through the supermarket tills this Christmas,” Kantar Head of Retail and Consumer Insight Fraser McKevitt said in a press release. “The festive period is always a bumper one for grocers, with consumers buying, on average, 10 percent more items than in a typical month.”

Despite price increases on food products continuing to slow, some of that predicted record-breaking total will still be directly due to inflation, McKevitt said. Food and beverage inflation dropped to 9.1 percent in November but still stands at 9.6 percent for the most recent quarter.

A new report from the think tank Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) highlights the difficulties facing U.K. consumers, finding that energy costs and climate change/unseasonal weather over the past few years have increased household food bills by an average of GBP 605 (USD 761, EUR 706) annually compared to 2021. Climate costs alone accounted for 60 percent of the spike, the ECIU stated, as “historically high” oil, gas, and fertilizer prices have particularly hit companies and, therefore, consumers.

For the rest of 2023 and into the new year, the ECIU anticipates ... 

Photo courtesy of Loch Earn/Shutterstock

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