'Total sales excluding fuel were down 2.9% compared to the same week last year, as we continue to annualise against the warmer temperatures this time last year. However, we saw good growth in a number of categories.
Sales of regionally produced alcohol continue to perform well with gin sales up up 56%, beer up 73% and local cider up 304%.
Champagne and sparkling wine sales increased by 71% and 11% respectively supported by strong promotional activity, whilst sales of Waitrose 1 boxed chocolates were up by more 40% and cupcake sales were up 69%.
Customers bought food and drink more commonly associated with colder temperatures with soup sales up 13%, gravy up 14% and sales of our slow cooked dishes up by 82%.
We also had a positive response to the first week of 'Waitrose Unpacked' where we are testing the customer appetite for a series of ideas designed to reduce packaging at our BotleyRoad shop in Oxford.'
Martin George, Customer Director, Waitrose & Partners