Shoppers in the UK will spend a record £4.2bn on food and drink in the final week before Christmas, shrugging off higher prices caused by the fall in the value of the pound since the EU referendum.
Total spending on festive feasts will be up by 3.6%, with Friday 22 December the busiest day as families prepare for the big day, according to analysts at Nielsen.
“With Christmas Day falling on a Monday, people are likely to delay their big Christmas shop until the final week and we expect nearly all shoppers will visit a grocery retailer at least twice that week,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight. He said only a third of shoppers were planning to spend less on food and drink this year.
Friday 22 December is on course to be the UK’s highest-spending food shopping day ever, say analysts at Kantar Worldpanel.
But the 3.6% rise in sales predicted by Nielsen for the final week before Christmas Day only matches the level of grocery price inflation measured by analysts at Kantar in its latest three-monthly shopping survey.
Rises in the price of butter, fish and fresh pork pushed inflation up to the highest level since 2013 in the three months to 3 December up from 3.4% recorded in the 12 weeks to 5 November.