Waitrose sales were up 5.8% to £131.8m last week as the festive food shopping period started “in earnest”.

John Lewis weekly sales to November 29

Waitrose said it noticed last week a “definite turning point toward festive grocery trends” and that early indications show “many people will be trading up to premium foods this Christmas”.

The grocer said its Waitrose Entertaining range notched up “strong growth in luxury options”, including its Heston from Waitrose turkey crown with brining kit, and its double stuffed turkey breast joint.

Orders for its luxury stuffing range were up 65% and organic rack of pork up 20% while Bollinger was the best-selling drink on the grocer’s online wine shop Waitrose Cellar.

Christmas cake sales surged 76% and panettone by 94%.

The grocer said its “must-have pudding this year”, the Heston ​from Waitrose ultimate chocolate bar dessert, is “far exceeding sales expectations”.

It has had to increase production to ensure it has enough to last until Christmas, said Waitrose finance director Tom Athron​.

Sister retailer John Lewis revealed on Tuesday that its sales rose 21.8% in the week to Saturday November 29, as Black Friday led to the retailer’s biggest sales week ever.