Waitrose reveals how the nation has navigated a year of seismic events
- Rise in popularity of forgotten and tinned foods - fish heads and Spam sales up 34% and 36% respectively
- The Pudding Effect - 46% of us are buying more sweet treats to enjoy at home
- The responsibility of the global citizen - 63% of people feel guilty about food waste
The Waitrose Food and Drink Report 2022-23 analyses the nation’s shopping habits and reveals that customers are having to be savvier than ever when it comes to shopping on a budget.
We are living in an age of flux: rising food prices, climate challenges and a shifting political stage (at home and abroad) and our research found that people are becoming even more budget conscious, seeking out ways to save on their weekly grocery bills.
72% of survey respondents told us that they are now ‘more mindful’ about their grocery budget and more than a third say they are ‘very concerned’ about how the rising cost of living will affect them in the coming months.
32% of people say they are looking out for special offers more than ever before and a quarter of people are economising by making shopping lists and sticking to them.
At the same time, more people are asking more questions about where food comes from and, increasingly, the climate impact of what we eat.
22% of our survey respondents said they now consider the carbon footprint of products and 35% of survey respondents said they are prepared to put things back if there is too much packaging.
James Bailey, Waitrose Executive Director, said, “The events of the last year have created a difficult backdrop for many people and like all supermarkets we’ve had to judge the mood and react. We’re seeing some big changes.
“With shoppers being more mindful of their grocery budgets and shopping around for more offers, we have responded by doubling down on our good food promise. We believe budgeting shouldn’t mean compromise.
“While nearly a quarter of shoppers told us they have ‘switched to supermarket own brands for their basics’, we are proud that our Essentials range, which comes with exceptionally high sourcing and welfare standards, delivers on not just price, but quality and taste.”
Products that defined the year include
The Pudding Effect - 46% of people said they are buying more sweet treats this year. Custard tarts, eclairs and cappuccino mousse are the top 3 best-selling desserts.
Whipped feta - sales rose by 33% over the summer
Forgotten Food - driven by economy and sustainability, and slow cooking, sales of fish heads, beef shin, ox cheek and lamb neck sales have soared
‘Swalty’ - exclusive new sweet and salty peanut butter has just arrived
Root Zero - the world’s first carbon neutral potato has seen strong sales
Holistic Living - sales of our Thrive, GoVeggie, PlantLiving, EatFlexi and Gut Health ranges have increased by 74%. Gut health products have proved particularly popular, with sales of kefir yogurt up 51%.
Products that fell out of favour include
Curry meal kits - homecooks have honed their skills and no longer require as much help creating dishes from scratch
Yeast - sales are down 20% as we stopped baking at home as much
Disposable barbecues - we were one of the first supermarkets to stop selling these
Russian vodka - we removed from our shelves in light of the war in Ukraine
The drinks we enjoyed include
Tequila is the new gin – sales have doubled in size (up 116%) from 2020 to 2021.
Spicy rosé wine- inspired by a TikTok trend, online searches for jalapeños spiked by 40% in July
Corks - set for a comeback thanks to their environmental credentials
No&Low - 30% of us have bought no and low alcohol drinks in the last year
The big trends of 2022
The Thrifty Kitchen
Our research found that people are becoming more budget conscious, seeking out ways to save on their weekly grocery bills: 72% admitted they are now more mindful about what they’re spending, and over a third said they are ‘shopping around for bargains’. 27% have taken to planning their meals in advance.
People might be budgeting more, but they’re still making time for little indulgences as 46% of us are buying more sweet treats to enjoy at home. Other popular treats include house plants or flowers (39%) and a bottle of wine (36%).
Video Goes Viral
The rise of food and drink ASMR content on social media means it’s no longer just about how food looks, but how it sounds and moves. More than half (51%) of all 18-24 year olds told us they have taken to the platform for foodie inspiration this year.
Less But Better
Quality over quantity definitely seems to be a mantra of 2022, with our survey respondents stating they were buying ‘less but better meat’ ‘for budget and for health reasons’.
Foods with Benefits
The pandemic has made many people prioritise their health and wellbeing. When asked what was the key to happiness, ‘being healthy’ topped the list, with ‘spending time with friends and family’ a close second. 34% of our survey respondents told us they now try to eat ‘more healthily’ most of the time.
Over a third (36%) of our survey respondents tell us they are now ‘extremely concerned’ about climate change. While price is still a governing factor in people choosing which product to buy, shoppers want to know the story behind what they’re buying - and if the workers were paid fairly (22%), or the animals were looked after (28%).
Notes to Editors
The Waitrose Food and Drink Report 2022-23 can be found online at waitrose.com/foodreport
We have analysed extensive internal data to provide an insight into the products that defined the past 12 months as well as what we left off our shopping lists. And we polled 2,000 consumers across the UK of all ages on a wide range of topics.
About the John Lewis Partnership
The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical experiment over a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. The Partnership is purpose-driven, existing to create a fairer and more sustainable future for our Partners, customers, suppliers and communities. Our Purpose not only inspires our principles, drives our decisions and acts as our guide to be a force for good, it steers us to do things differently and better - all in service of creating a happier world for everyone and everything we touch.
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