Champagne sales were up 70% and sparkling wine sales up 71% for the week ending May 6, 2023 (compared to the same period the previous year) as consumers stocked up for street parties or picnics, according to data from NIQ.
Beer, wine and spirit sales also rose 23% as people marked the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, local celebratory events on Sunday, and a national holiday on Monday.
In total, UK supermarkets saw sales soar to £2.8bn for the week, which exceeded the £2.7bn recorded during Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee week in June 2022.
Consumers cut back spending elsewhere to fund special treats
Alongside alcohol, other items seeing a peak in sales included party accessories (up 107%) and cream and custard (up 73%). Ingredients for bakery items also were up – such as fresh dough/pastry (up 56%), eggs (up 45%) and sugar and sweeteners (up 40%).
And yet there are signs that financial challenges and soaring inflation did impact how consumers spend their money.
NIQ data from the week ending 29th April - the week prior to the coronation - shows that frozen (16.3%) was the highest performing category in terms of sales as Brits stocked up their freezers with frozen poultry (31%), frozen potatoes (29%) and frozen chips (28%).
This may indicate some planned cost-saving measures as shoppers sought to cut back on spend the week before in order to allow themselves flexibility to spend extra on special treats during the celebratory bank holiday weekend.
Mike Watkins, NIQ’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, said: “The latest figures show that despite many being financially constrained in the cost-of-living crisis, shoppers still allowed themselves to indulge in additional groceries and treats so they could celebrate the Coronation and long weekend.
"However, this is a balancing act - while one week they are allowing themselves to indulge, the weeks in between still indicate cost-saving measures, such as stocking up on frozen goods or ambient - shelf stable - goods that are cheaper and last longer. The Coronation has added a welcome boost to grocery sales, with many shoppers taking advantage of retailers’ discounts and other incentives.”