IGD’s CEO, Susan Barratt, contributes to the BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor, providing insight on UK food and drink sales.
At first glance, food and drink sales in January look uncharacteristically strong, but in fact the typical slow start to the year has been heavily disguised by a big dose of inflation. After a slightly more buoyant December, it’s clear that volumes fell in January as shoppers put the post-festive brakes on their spending.
However, there are glimmers of hope, with shoppers starting the year in a more upbeat mood and our Shopper Confidence Index improving to its highest level in a year. With the Prime Minister pledging to half inflation this year, coupled with our prediction that food inflation will slow this year, just 33% of shoppers expect food prices to get much more expensive compared to 53% last August. Furthermore, fewer food shoppers expect to increase their focus on saving money in the year ahead (35% vs 47% Oct’22). Shoppers are starting to benefit from lower petrol prices, and many are already adopting savvy shopping tactics like buying fewer products, making fewer trips, and only visiting certain supermarket aisles.
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