Grocers are experiencing a surge in sales during the month of Ramadan as it becomes one of the biggest religious events in the calendar.

The big four are braced for increased demand of staple products such as rice, chapati flour, dates and meat, as well as celebratory drinks and snacks, as the UK’s three million Muslims stock up on products to break their daily fast at sundown. Ramadan began last Thursday (June 18).

Sainsbury’s says it has already seen a 23% increase in customers buying Asian products from its stores, while Tesco has forecast a £30m surge in sales over the period, which ends with the Eid festival on July 17.

Tesco expects to see a 70% sales rise in the key staples, which it is promoting in-store and online in specially branded Ramadan sections.

A spokeswoman for the grocer said it is working to “make it as easy as possible” for customers to find what they need during Ramadan. “Ramadan is becoming one of the most significant festivals for us in some areas,” she said.

Tesco is also donating food to 12 mosques in London and creating a specially-decorated delivery van. It has also sponsored the Trafalgar Square Eid celebrations on July 25.

Morrisons limiting rice sales

Morrisons says it usually registers a 40,000 per cent rise in sales of its 10kg bags of branded rice, which are promoted at half price for Ramadan, and has to limit bags per customers to maintain stock. It also experiences 100% increase in the sales of dates, which are traditionally eaten to break the fast each day.

Sainsburys has created World Food aisles at 270 store nationwide, which will be in place until July 21, as well as a Ramadan section on the Sainsburys website, while Asda has introduced a new range of packaged and frozen halal meats. Asda has also created a 30-day calendar of special price promotions and offers.