18 December 2017 - Janet Bird
Fresh fruit was the fastest growing grocery category in the UK during 2017, new research has shown.
But we have a long way to go before we start patting ourselves on the back for being so health conscious - spirits and sparkling wine joined fresh fruit and 'free from' food in the top four fastest growing grocery category of Nielsen's annual analysis of UK supermarket and convenience store sales.
Nielsen's research revealed that the fresh fruit grocery category grew 3.8 percent in 2017 and saw sales worth £176.4. Spirits saw sales grow by 3.8 percent, worth £152.3 million, while the 'free from' food sector saw an 18.7 percent growth in sales to £146.6 million. Sparkling wine sales grew 10.7 percent to £80.3 million.
In terms of individual products, Budweiser topped the fastest growing chart, with sales growth of 14.9 percent to £49.2 million. It shared the top ten with Barefoot Wine, which saw its sales increase 27.1 percent to 28.5 percent and Coca-Cola, which enjoyed a sales increase of 2.5 percent to £27.7 million. The somewhat healthier options of avocados, raspberries and Alpro soya milk saw sales rise respectively to £29.8 million (up 16 percent), £23 million (up nine percent) and £22.3 million (up 14 percent).
Nielsen suggested rising prices meant shoppers were not going out as much and were instead treating themselves to good quality and healthier food, as well as drinking and dining more at home.