Cider and bubbly sales soar as Brits enjoy summer sun

A prolonged summer heatwave sparked 19% growth in cider sales and a 17% rise in sparkling wine sales in the grocery channel this summer.

Nielsen data for the four weeks to July 15 shows that these were two of the best performing categories in the FMCG market.  

Overall shoppers spent 5.1% more during the month than they did in the same period last year and the heatwave coinciding with Wimbledon appears to have helped.

The best performing category was ice cream, up 45%, but hot on its heels was alcohol mixers – tonics and so on – which grew 44%.

Nielsen highlighted cider and bubbly alongside burgers, strawberries and prepared salads as the big winners this summer.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said:  “Various factors typically drive extra spend in grocery shopping – more disposable income, more promotions, peak events and changes in weather, and lifestyle.

“However, the first two have been falling in recent times which shows the impact that hot weather and big sporting events – such as Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix, the British and Irish Lions rugby and the women’s cricket World Cup – had on people’s purse strings.

“This combination encourages shoppers to spend more, particularly on fresh foods and to use Convenience stores more often. With the likelihood of eating and drinking outside also increasing people are more inclined to indulge and treat themselves.”

It was only the second time since July 2013 that all of the biggest grocery retailers saw year-on-year sales rise. During the 12 weeks to July 15, Tesco (up 2.8%) had the biggest rise among the Big Four, while Iceland had the biggest rise (7.8%) of anyone outside the discounters. Nielsen said Marks & Spencer also traded well with food sales increasing 4.1%. 

Here is the breakdown of grocery sales:

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