New Year booze sales fail to cheer Waitrose’s festive sales

UK supermarket Waitrose has announced strong sales of booze in the run up to New Year’s Eve, which saw Champagne and sparkling wine rise 48% and 27% respectively – despite overall grocery sales falling over the festive period.

The upmarket retailer also reported strong sales of liqueurs in the week to 5 January, up 45%, while imported whiskey grew 38%. Tequila and Cognac were also winners over the period, growing 37% and 36% respectively, while sales of vermouth rose by more than a third (34%) and gin by 31%, it said.

Mezcal – tequila’s hip cousin – and vermouth were two drinks trends set to take off in 2019, the retailer said in its Food and Drink Trend 2018-19 report.

The retailer highlighted that total sales in the week to 5 January 2019 were up 7.5% on the same period last year, partly as a result of an additional day of sales in the run up to New Year’s Eve – however KantarWorldpanel data showed overall sales across the wider Christmas period fell 1.7% in the 12 weeks to 30 December, with market share down 0.2 percentage points to 5%. It came as two-thirds of households shopped at either an Aldi or Lidl in the 12 week period, leading to a highest-ever combined Christmas market share for the two discounters of 12.8%.


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