Return to traditional festive tastes

Return to traditional festive tastes

Shoppers in Lincolnshire and the surrounding area bucked the national trend and stocked up on traditional Christmas treats, according to festive food figures released by Lincolnshire Co-op.

The community retailer saw positive growth with food store sales rising 7.2% in the period from 14th December to 4th January.

Despite UK sales of Christmas puddings falling 16% according to market research company Kantar (https://uk.kantar.com/consumer/shoppers/2019/grocery-market-share-december-2019-sober-christmas-gives-retailers-a-headache/), Lincolnshire Co-op saw sales of the traditional dessert increase by 35%.

There was also growth for another classic festive sweet, with sales of mince pies up by 36% and a total of nearly three quarters of a million individual mince pies sold.

Each food store stocks the Love Local range, featuring goods from Lincolnshire Co-op’s trading area, and sales increased by 9.5%.  Local products from suppliers including Lymn Bank Farm, Cote Hill and Lincolnshire Poacher contributed to overall cheese sales going up by 22%.

More people bought locally-sourced meat from suppliers including Grasmere Farm, Mountain’s Boston Sausage and Uncle Henry’s and the Society’s own bakery Gadsby’s, based in Southwell, saw sales increase by 11%. More than 156,486 individual Gadsby’s mince pies contributed to the total sold and treats like amaretto and rum truffles proved popular.

Lincolnshire Co-op paid out a dividend bonus of £1.9m to its members on December 1st. Dividend Card holders further boosted their balance with 10% extra dividend vouchers, which contributed to another £391,679 in dividend being shared during the month.

Members can also use dividend to buy goods. During December, they redeemed more than £1.3m of dividend from their cards to pay for their shopping in food stores.

Chief Retail Officer Mark Finn said: “We’re delighted to buck the national trend, both with the popularity of the traditional Christmas pud and with our positive sales performance.

“It’s a great achievement in a tough market. It shows that our customers appreciate our colleagues and the service they provide and the quality of our products, especially those sourced locally. The dividend bonus also means that our members start the festive period with an extra dose of cheer.”

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