Fierce supermarket competition in UK keeps lid on Christmas dinner costs | Food & drink industry #Fierce #supermarket #competition #lid #Christmas #dinner #costs #Food #drink #industry

The cost of a traditional Christmas dinner for four has risen 1.3% this year to £31.71, as fierce competition between supermarkets offsets high inflation.

The increased cost of a festive family feast is far below the 9.1% rate of general grocery inflation tracked in November, which marks a further easing from 9.7% in October, according to research by Kantar.

The figures come as retailers increasingly push their own-label lines and promotions to attract people through their doors, with some Christmas dinner staples such as brussels sprouts now 4.3% cheaper than they were 12 months ago.

Overall, spending on promotions hit the highest level in more than two years last month, accounting for 28% of sales.

“The amount of money spent on deals usually leaps in the run up to Christmas, but this year is already looking a bit different,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar. “We’re well above 2022 levels, with customers making an additional £180m in savings this November versus 12 months ago.”

He explained that retailers have been “battling it out to offer value to consumers during this important month for trading, and are doing what they can to keep prices low”.

The price of a Christmas pudding has already fallen 2.4% while sparkling wine has dropped by 5.9%, compared with a year earlier. That has helped offset rising costs for other holiday essentials such as frozen turkey and cranberry sauce, which have climbed 3.1% and 26.5%, respectively.

But overall, inflation is expected to contribute to record high-spending this December, a month when consumers tend to buy 10% more items than usual.

Kantar is predicting that household grocery spending across Great Britain will collectively rise past £13bn for the first time ever, with Friday 22 December likely to be the single busiest day in store, as people rush to make sure they have what they need for festive meals.

Analysts are predicting that nearly 41m brussels sprouts will be bought in supermarkets each day in the week leading up to 25 December.

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“The scene is set for record-breaking spend through the supermarket tills this Christmas,” McKevitt, said.

“Some of the increase, of course, will also be driven by the ongoing price inflation we’ve seen this year” but “while the rate at which grocery prices are rising is still well above the norm, the good news for shoppers is that inflation is continuing to come down,” he said.

Kantar said the German discounter Lidl was again the fastest-growing grocer, after its sales grew by 14.2% over the 12 weeks to 26 November, giving it a record market share of 7.8%.

#Fierce #supermarket #competition #lid #Christmas #dinner #costs #Food #drink #industry

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