Supermarkets in the UK saw a significant boost in customer visits and spending ahead of Christmas compared to previous years, with own-label lines in particular seeing strong growth, the latest data from Kantar has revealed. 

In the four weeks ending December 24, around £1.48 billion was spent nationwide on branded beer, wine and spirits – up 1.9% from last year. Meanwhile, shoppers spent around £507 million on own-label BWS products, representing a considerable 14% increase from 2022. BWS private label volumes also rose, by 7.3%.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said own-label lines saw “especially strong performances” across all categories in December: “Sales of premium ranges like Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference and Tesco Finest surged by 11.9% compared with last year.”

Overall, 488 million trips to the supermarket were made across Britain, up 12 million from the same time period in 2022. The average household spent was £477, marking a £28 increase on the previous year, with the number of items bought also rising by 2%. 

While 2023 saw consumers grapple with inflationary pressures and the cost of living crisis, grocery price inflation dropped to 6.7% in December – the lowest since April 2022. However, McKevitt said: “Consumers are still facing pretty hefty pressures on their budgets.” 

As a result, spending on promotional items was particularly prominent in the run up to Christmas. McKevitt said: “Retailers were clearly working hard during the festive period to offer best value and win over shoppers, and promotions were central to their strategy. Nearly one third of all spent in the four weeks to Christmas Eve was made on items with some kind of offer, the highest level since December 2020 and £823 million more than last year.”