Upmarket grocer Waitrose revealed sales up 10.6% to £103m for the week ending November 27, as customers stocked up on Christmas goodies.
Week-on-week, sales rose 25%.
The week’s icy conditions led to shoppers filling their baskets with “winter warmers” according to Waitrose, with soups and hot chocolate up 28% and 30% respectively. Online grocery deliveries jumped in the cold weather, soaring 41% year-on-year, through Waitrose Deliver.
Waitrose said the “stand out success story” was celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding, containing a whole candied orange. Demand has been “so fierce”that the puddings have been appearing for auction on ebay, with “virtually every pudding across the country” selling out by the end of the week.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: “Our sales grew strongly again this week as customers shopped to keep out the cold and stepped up the pace of their Christmas preparations. The success of Heston’s Christmas pudding shows that customers are as keen as ever to have the best quality for their festive meals and all our top tier ranges are performing well.
“We’ve never sold out of a Christmas pudding in November before but Heston’s innovative take on the traditional favourite has really captured the imagination of our customers.