Britons spent £41 million on Prosecco in the four weeks leading up to Easter, according to Nielsen.

Data shows that consumer spending in the grocery sector increased by 5.9% in the four weeks to April 20, which is the highest level since the late Easter in 2014 and the summer heatwave of 2013, according to Nielsen.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “While shoppers are still looking to get the best value for money for their weekly groceries, they are also still prepared to indulge in affordable treats in order to make the most of long weekends, and enjoy the warm weather with friends and family.

“There was stronger performance in the last four weeks, which included both Easter and Mothering Sunday, where British shoppers spent £213 million on Easter eggs, £49 million on fresh lamb, £136 million on cut flowers and £41 million on Prosecco.”

Watkins also said that while Easter is traditionally a time when the big supermarkets capture more incremental spend, shoppers are continuing to shift spent away from the ‘big four’, as their combined market share fell to 64% in the last 12 weeks. Aldi and Lidl now account for 20% of market share, while Co-op and Waitrose hold 4.9% and 4.2% respectively.

He concluded: “The underlying trend here seems to be that economising rather than compromising is still the key consumer mindset. Looking ahead, it will be important for retailers and brands to keep up sales momentum through increased promotional activity as we head into the summer of 2019 in order to match the levels of last year’s hot summer and the boost from the World Cup.”

Lidl and Aldi saw the most growth over the 12 weeks to April 2019 versus the same period last year, up 15% and 14.2% respectively.

Sainsbury’s was the only grocery retailer to post a drop in sales growth (-0.9%) compared to 2018.