Waitrose has reported sales of rosé wine have gone up, alongside outdoor and picnic items, in line with the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions in England.

The retailer said sales of rosé wine grew by 407% in the last week, compared to 2019, while sparkling wine sales rose by 18%. Beer and cider sales are also on the up, with sales increasing by 47% and 32% respectively.

Alongside this barbecue food is up 33% as shoppers prepare to relax and enjoy the sunshine over the bank holiday weekend.

Waitrose also noted sausage rolls and pork pie sales have risen 46% and 7% versus the same time last year, while dips, crisps and houmous sales are up 15%.

At John Lewis online shoppers have been buying picnic hampers and cool bags (up 39%) and the retailer’s own-brand rugs are up more than 2000%.

Beth Elliot, Scrumptious Summer brand manager at Waitrose, said: “As the nation gets set to soak up the spring sunshine, spirits are lifted a little thanks to a relaxation of the lockdown in England. Our sales reflect this as our customers look to enjoy some more time outside with picnics in parks or barbecues in the garden. Our new Scrumptious Summer range is performing really strongly as we look for summer food favourites, up 15% on the same time last year.”

In the off-trade generally sales have been increasing throughout May. Nielsen data shows still wine sales rose 33% and sparkling 42% across all drinks retailers for the week ending May 9th, over the first May bank holiday weekend.