Sainsbury's Local

A busy Sainsbury’s Local

Scones, bananas and low & no-alcohol drinks were among the most popular trends that drove Sainsbury’s customer buying choices in 2022, according to new data from the supermarket’s Nectar loyalty scheme.

The yearly data shows the shopping choices of 17.6 million Nectar members and gives an indication of how customer habits changed throughout the year.

Sainsbury’s saw year-on-year sales of alcohol-free drinks increase 20% in 2022, which the retailer said is evidence of more people taking up Dry January. Sales of vegan products were up 9% year on year, with Veganuary also proving popular, the retailer said.

One-off celebrations also dictated customer baskets. Sainsbury’s sold 95,000 packets of scones on the first day of the bank holiday weekend, celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee ­– more than 1.1m scones sold over the weekend as a whole.

On the day of England’s victory in the Women’s Euros, Nectar customers purchased 1.5m bottles or cans of beer.

Calendar events also drove sales. In the run-up to what was the last Easter before HFSS regulations came into force in October, 10.7 million chocolate eggs and 3.5 million hot cross buns were bought by Nectar customers.

Despite what was a challenging harvest for pumpkin farmers, sales of pumpkins were up 6%, with 800,000 sales in the lead-up to Halloween.

Fresh fruit was increasingly popular. During Sainsbury’s Great Fruit & Veg Challenge, a seven-week promotion held during the school holidays, the retailer sold 88 million portions of fruit, a 59% increase on 2021.

Nectar customers purchased one billion bananas in 2022, which was more than sales of apples and oranges combined, the supermarket said.

“Last year we came together to celebrate so many moments as a nation, and as usual food and drink was at the heart of those milestone moments. We’re delighted to have helped our customers indulge and celebrate, but also to have supported them to make healthier choices,” said Alex Naisby, director of loyalty & CRM at Sainsbury’s.

The release coincides with the return of the ‘year in review’ feature to the Nectar app, which provides customers with a breakdown of their spending habits that year.

The retailer enjoyed a record Christmas period in 2022, with sales increasing 7.1% year on year in the six weeks to 7 January. Like-for-like sales grew 5.9% during the third quarter overall, which the retailer put down to higher food prices.

As food inflation continues to bite, Sainsbury’s has rapidly increased its Aldi price match campaign, and now lists more than 300 price-matched products on its website.