Aldi stores across the country reported ’a stong demand’ over the Christmas period

Aldi has reported record sales over Christmas after setting out to compete with high-end retailers.

The discounter enjoyed a 15% year-on-year sales uplift in December, which it attributed to “strong demand” for its expanded selection of premium products.

Sales of its Specially Selected range soared by 27% year on year, with its Argentinian Malbec, mince pies and 30-day-aged roasting joint named among the top-selling products.

It also sold over two million bottles of Prosecco over the month, which equated to almost 69,000 per day.

Aldi expanded its premium selection this year in a bid to compete with the likes of Fortnum & Mason, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer. Its high-end replicas whipped up some controversy - most notably the £98 ‘exquisite’ hamper’, which replicated the trademark light blue and gold colour scheme of the iconic Fortnum & Mason Christmas product.

But Aldi said it had also gained ground in sales of Christmas essentials, which it attributed to its “overall price leadership position”. Its Super 6 offer, which reduced the price of six festive fruit & veg lines to just 19p in the two weeks before Christmas, generated sales of 4.5 million packs of carrots, 2 million packs of Brussels sprouts and 2 million packs of parsnips.

“The people of Britain were very clear on what they wanted on their dinner tables this Christmas - unbeatable value premium-quality products and the lowest prices on festive essentials. That’s exactly what our 692 stores and 29,000 employees served up, helping to make this our best ever Christmas,” said Aldi UK and Ireland chief executive Matthew Barnes.

Aldi expects sales of its Specially Selected range to exceed £750m in 2017.