Retailers are putting the emphasis on own-label lines and promotions to attract people through their doors this Christmas, according to the latest report from grocery research firm Kantar.

supermarket checkout FMT

Take-home grocery sales are expected to surpass £13 billion for the first time ever this December.

Friday 22nd December is predicted to be the single busiest day in store as people rush to make sure they have what they need ahead of the big day. Nearly 41 million brussels sprouts will pass through the tills every day in the week before 25th December.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said that "the scene is set for record-breaking spend through the supermarket tills this Christmas." He explained: "The festive period is always a bumper one for the grocers with consumers buying on average 10% more items than in a typical month. Some of the increase, of course, will also be driven by the ongoing price inflation we’ve seen this year."

McKevitt said that retailers are also "battling it out" to offer value to consumers during this important month for trading and are doing what they can to keep prices low. He added: "Brussels sprouts are now 4.3% cheaper than 12 months ago so there’s no excuse for people not to enjoy them!”

The latest figures showed that grocery sales grew by 6.3% over the four weeks to 26th November 2023 to reach £11.7 billion. Take-home grocery sales are expected to surpass £13 billion for the first time ever this December.

Kantar data showed that spending on offers hit its highest level in over two years in the latest four week period at 28.4%.

Fraser McKevitt explained: “The amount of money spent on deals usually leaps in the run up to Christmas, but this year is already looking a bit different. We’re well above 2022 levels, with customers making an additional £180 million in savings this November versus 12 months ago. Brands have benefited from the boost in offers and have now edged ahead of their own-label counterparts, growing sales by 6.5% versus 6.4% for retailer lines.

"However, own-label is still doing incredibly well and premium lines especially so. These products are up by 15.4% year on year, with wine, chilled ready meals and fresh beef among the big winners last month. We’re likely to see a seasonal jump in premium stuffing, sausage meat and Christmas puddings over the coming weeks.”

Food and drink price inflation is continuing to come down, dropping to 9.1% in November from 10.1% in October and 12.2% in September.

This story was originally published on a previous version of the Meat Management website and so there may be some missing images and formatting issues.