According to a new report released by supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, British consumers leaned in on more healthy eating … while taking the time to indulge a bit on special occasions.
Sainsbury’s says more than six billion portions of fruits and vegetables were purchased alone from its Nectar points shoppers, including an astounding 375 million servings of carrots during 2021.
“I’m delighted to see that customers have been making food choices that are healthier for both them and the planet, whilst also occasionally indulging in well-overdue celebrations in another unprecedented year,” Mark Given, Chief Marketing Officer at Sainsbury’s said. “Last year we introduced our new commitment Helping Everyone Eat Better and this year we’ll continue to encourage customers to take small steps that make a huge difference, one plate at a time. We’re all on a journey and are learning more every day, so I’m excited to see the new trends that sweep the nation in 2022.”
All seasons saw customers reaching for more healthful items during the pandemic. During the summer and its annual Great Fruit and Veg Challenge, Sainsbury’s sold 7.7 million bunches of bananas. That wasn’t just in the countrysides, but in urban locales, too, as those in London were the top purchasers. In autumn, the retailer reported a 22% increase in pumpkin sales.
Still, with concerns still present around COVID-19, shoppers spent heavily on savory, succulent and less-healthful products – Guinness sales rose more than 120% during the St. Patrick’s Day period and chocolate eggs rose nearly 30% around Easter.
January should foretell whether the trend to healthy continues as Veganuary kicks off across the UK. Last year, Sainsbury’s reports that its 17.5 million Nectar customers spent 16% more on meat alternatives during the month.