Waitrose sales jumped 3.1% year-on-year last week as customers stocked up on luxury food and drink for Christmas.

The grocer said for the week ending Saturday December 14 sales jumped 9% against the previous week when sales edged up 0.8%.

Waitrose said its Heston Blumenthal chocolate box traded well with sales soaring 20-fold against the week before.

It also sold four-times as many Earl Grey and mandarin stolens, also from the Heston range, and almost triple the amount of Heston puff pastry mince pies, up 180%.

Waitrose said: “We’re seeing a significant trend for people searching out food and drink with a ‘wow factor’ - either showy centrepieces or contemporary takes on classic Christmas food.”

Waitrose said sales of its ‘Jubilee rib’ of beef, which is large enough to serve 20 people, have surged 50% against last year, while sales of its ballotine of turkey, chicken and duck centrepiece have surged 71% year-on-year.

Waitrose’s Seriously Plummy dessert wine sales jumped 58% against last year and its Christmas pudding ice cream sales rose 24% year-on-year and 142% on the previous week.

Waitrose added that its ‘make your own’ Christmas crates, which enable customers to create their own gift hamper, have also performed well.