Aldi - Jubilee Street Party Fund

Source: Aldi

According to British Berry Growers, UK consumers bought 4,900 tonnes of strawberries over the Jubilee week of 30 May to 5 June

British food and drink enjoyed a boom in sales as the country celebrated the Platinum Jubilee.

A raft of British food saw a rise in sales over the Jubilee as the nation celebrated the long weekend to mark the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

According to British Berry Growers, UK consumers bought 4,900 tonnes of strawberries over the Jubilee week of 30 May to 5 June, up 15% year on year. It made it the biggest week in terms of volume so far this year.

Nick Marston, chair of British Berry Growers, said the strawberry crop was very early this year, so there was significant production and availability to meet heightened demand.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the boost for strawberries was matched by record-breaking sales of clotted cream in the run-up to the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

“Demand for our Cornish Clotted Cream meant we featured on almost 10.8 million scones,” said Nicholas Rodda, MD of clotted cream company Rodda’s. “Sales were up 28% year on year off an already high base. The nation clearly still enjoys the nostalgia of traditional cream teas to celebrate with friends and family, and we were delighted that Rodda’s was at the heart of the occasion.”

Sweet treats were not the only thing to receive a boost over the weekend, with picnic items also seeing a surge in consumption.

Pilgrims UK, one of the largest meat suppliers, said it had supplied 1.67 million scotch eggs over the Jubilee, compared to 1.25 million per week produced on average in February – equating to roughly a 33% increase. The supplier also produced 2.7 million packs of sliced meat at its King’s Lynn site, a 17% increase, ahead of the celebration.

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“Some of our manufacturing sites have seen record demand in recent weeks, with scotch egg demand and sliced-cook meat products taking off in particular,” commented Tracy Charlton, Pilgrim’s UK Ruskington site director

English wine sales also soared. Sainsbury’s said the English Sparkling Wine category was up 370%, with Chapel Down sales up 293%. Simpsons’ Wine Estate also reported a 15% increase in DTC sales and 14% rise in website visits in the lead-up to and during the Jubilee weekend compared with the same time last year.

Cofounders Charles and Ruth Simpson said: “We are delighted to see the continued drive in engagement with the UK wine industry, which now offers such a diverse portfolio of products and tourism opportunities.”

“The thirst for English and Welsh wines has not waned over the past couple of years, in part owing to supply chain and importing issues, plus the more positive consumer focus of wanting to support local, championing more sustainable choices and generally being more discerning about the ethos, quality and origins of their purchases,” they added

According to data from Nielson, Pimm’s had the biggest surge of spirits over the week. The Diageo label saw sales increase by 108% compared to the same time last year.

This was matched by a 6.9% increase in footfall at shopping destinations over the weekend compared with the average for May 2022, and a 17.1% increase for the whole week.

“The public took to the streets for the Jubilee celebrations, with retail footfall enjoying significant improvements over the early parts of the long weekend,” said BRC CEO Helen Dickinson. “More people hit the shops, with many on the hunt for Jubilee decorations, garden accessories and new outfits.”

“It was great to see so many people out celebrating and shopping at their favourite local destinations – a welcome boost for retail businesses reliant on store performance, particularly on the high street,” she added.