When temperatures rise, sales increase by 10% across Co-op stores.
The Co-operative Group’s latest Convenience Report shows that high street sales hot up when temperature rises. It predicts that the British economy could benefit by as much as £290m a week in hot periods.
When it gets hotter, people spend more on food and drink. The Group said that when temperatures passed 21 degrees last summer, sales increased by 10%. In the previous year, when the temperature averaged 20 degrees, sales were boosted by 10% again.
A 10 degree rise in the temperature can see a 300% increase in the sales of BBQ meats and 50% of coleslaw. In comparison, sales dipped during the summer’s coldest weeks.
Data for June this year shows that sales peaked during the hottest week of the month – week two – when average temperatures across the country topped 20 degrees.
During summer, customers eat more ready-to-go foods and lighter meals, according to the Group. A feeling of spontaneity (less planning and cooking time), means summer ready meals are crucial. Yet in cooler weather, customers prefer comfort foods, such as casserole, stew, cakes and hot chocolate.
The market share of Co-op stores consistently peak during the summer. For example, in the 15 weeks from the beginning of June to the end of August last year, sales at of alfresco food items such as quiche, dips, pizza and ready meals outperformed the market by 4%. Summer fruits also perform well especially when the weather is good, with sales of strawberries and raspberries increasing by up to 43% and 150% respectively.
The top 10 most popular products in summer
- Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
- Bottled water
- Bagged salads
- Premium lager
- Peaches and cherries
The top 10 most popular products in winter
- Clementines and oranges
- Speciality milk
- Bagged salads
- Prepared vegetables
Steve Murrells, chief executive of retail, said: “Summertime is a season we spend less time cooking and planning our meals. We make more spur of the moment decisions, which means convenience stores are a key shopping destination.
“Consumers are shaping what convenience now means, with it increasingly being about a way of living rather than a store format. Therefore, not surprisingly, businesses which save shoppers precious time are experiencing real growth, and by being in 2,800 communities across the UK, we are benefiting from being able to ‘sell time’ to customers.
“This is underlined by recent independent reports by respected analysts which show that people visit our stores more often than any other food retailer, and that shoppers are now switching to us for the first time in five years.”