There was good and bad news from the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel, published yesterday.
The good news is that for the 12 weeks to February 26, sales rose 2.3 per cent, their fastest rate of growth since June 2014.
The bad news is that like-for-like inflation doubled.
It was especially bad news if you like butter, tea and fish, which all rose in price by five per cent.
Fruit and vegetables rose sharply too.
Kantar Worldpanel put it down to Brexit and the falls in sterling.
But if you are a crisp eating, fan of bacon and eggs, it was good news, as prices for these products fell.
So, there you have it, fruit and veg may be good for your health, but for your financial health you may be better served by tucking into a bag of crisps – perhaps, eat cheese and onion, that way you are eating some vegetables, too, or prawn cocktail to get around rising seafood costs.
As for retail land, the four biggest supermarkets collectively saw sales rise by 0.5 per cent, with no less than 99 per cent of the UK population shopping at least once at one of the big four – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda or Morrisons – with Morrisons the big winner in this category, seeing a 2.6 per cent rise in sales.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel said: “This is a timely reminder that despite the huge interest in the discounters during recent years the big four remain a force to be reckoned with: they still hold just over 70 per cent of the market.”
Talking of discounters, Lidl saw sales rise 13 per cent, with sales up by 12.9 per cent at Aldi.
Sales at the Co-op rose by 1.7 per cent and by 2.9 per cent at Waitrose.
Where the report becomes more interesting is that it turns out that the proportion of shoppers who bought products on promotion fell to 34.3 per cent, the lowest level since 2009.
But on Valentine’s Day, we opted for meal deals. According to Fraser McKevitt “Premium meal deals, which offer dinner for two at a price point of £10 or above, were bought by nearly 2 million consumers in February.”
He added: “British diners spent £9 million more on premium meal deals than during the same period last year, suggesting that celebrating special occasions at home is an increasingly appealing option. 1.2 million shoppers bought still wine as part of their premium meal deal, 700,000 plumped for sparkling wine and 840,000 bought chocolates.”