Irish shoppers spent €371 million on groceries during the week ending April 12, the highest sales week of the year so far and an increase of 14 per cent compared to the same week ending on Easter Sunday in 2019, data from Nielsen indicates. Moreover, sales of alcohol reached €49.3m, an increase of 44 per cent in spend compared to the same week last year.
The increase in alcohol spend is attributed to rising at home consumption, following the closure of bars and restaurants during the Covid-19 pandemic. Irish consumers celebrated the Easter weekend around the dinner table, with frozen poultry reaching €2m in sales, a massive 631 per cent increase compared to the same week ending Easter Sunday in 2019.
There was also a significant year-on-year increase in sales for other Easter dinner-related food such as gravy, turkey, potatoes, lamb and mint sauce. It also included an increase in frozen desserts, up by a third, take home ice cream (up 57 per cent) and fresh cream (plus 68 per cent). Traditional meals also saw a boost on the breakfast table.
Full Irish breakfast ingredients saw a significant rise in sales. Black and white puddings were up by 40 per cent, prepacked sausages by 31 per cent and prepacked bacon by 37 per cent compared to the same week last year. Making the most of the weekend, Irish customers took to their gardens for barbecues and stocked up on alcohol supplies.
Sales of barbecue sauce were up by 53 per cent and products used to light barbecues by 51 per cent. Meanwhile, demand for stout skyrocketed by 177 per cent, reaching €2.7m in sales, and lager sales grew by 78 per cent, reaching €15.3m. Table wines (up 27 per cent) accounted for €15.6m, while sparkling wine and champagne was up by 21 per cent.
One category which suffered was confectionery, which only grew by 1.4 per cent compared to the same week last year, with a seven per cent drop in Easter eggs sales. It is an overall eight per cent decline in spend on Easter eggs during the eight weeks leading to Easter this year.
Nielsen’s Karen Mooney said Irish consumers were becoming accustomed to the lockdown and were starting to settle into this new ‘normal’ of social distancing and staying indoors. It resulted in shoppers focusing less on buying traditional Easter confectionery.
“Instead, Irish consumers are shifting their focus to other forms of indulgence, where they can spend more time with the family over a roast dinner or traditional Irish breakfast. Of course – complemented with an alcoholic beverage or two in the sunshine,” Mooney added.
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