Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

BWS supermarket sales surge 25%

Published:  05 January, 2021

Supermarket sales of beer, wines and spirits (BWS) surged 25% to £4.9m in the 12 weeks to 27 December – an increase of £972m compared to the same period last year, according to Kantar data released today.

The research also showed a 19% increase (£310m) in alcohol sales to £1.98m in the four weeks to 27 December as supermarkets benefitted from limited options to drink in pubs, bars and restaurants due to Covid restrictions. 

Overall take-home grocery sales, including BWS, rose 11.4% during the 12 weeks to 27 December 2020, a period spanning both the November national lockdown and Christmas.  

Moreover, shoppers spent £11.7bn on take-home groceries in the four week period making December the busiest month to date for British supermarkets, according to Kantar.  

Meanwhile, changing tier restrictions, Brexit negotiations and reports of delays at Dover meant Brits shopped earlier than normal, with the busiest day of the year 21 December.

“Uncertainty around a deal and images of lorries sat at Dover meant consumers shopped earlier than usual.  Fifteen million households, more than half the entire population, visited a grocer at some point on the 21 December and spent a collective £819m,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar. 

This marked a real step change from recent years when consumers have typically completed their ‘big shop’ closer to Christmas Day, he added.

Online grocery sales accounted for 12.6% of total spend in December, compared with 7.4% in 2019, with Ocado ending the year as the country’s fastest growing retailer. 

“With sales over the past 12 weeks rising by 36.5%, online specialist Ocado finished the year as it started – the UK’s fastest growing retailer. This impressive growth has come despite only selling to less than 3% of households and is driven by the loyalty of its customers, who buy more than half their groceries through the retailer,” said McKevitt

In November, Kantar revealed that November was officially the largest month ever for the UK grocery market.