Europeans Top Christmas Shopping List for Festive Food and Drink

by Ella

As inflationary pressures impact household budgets, UK and European supermarkets are witnessing a surge in demand for own-brand festive food items. Families, grappling with financial constraints, are choosing to allocate their budgets toward Christmas meals at home, opting to trim expenditures on gifts and dining out.

Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second-largest grocer, noted a robust trend in grocery sales, anticipating a robust Christmas for the food sector. Sainsbury’s has expanded its premium “Taste the Difference” range with 170 new Christmas products, including a ready meal for four featuring duck, potatoes, and cranberry sauce.


Barclays research indicates that Britons plan to spend an average of £105 more on Christmas this year compared to 2022, with a significant portion allocated to festive food and drink, expected to rise by almost £26 on average.


UK market leader Tesco has increased its turkey stock, anticipating a shift toward more home-based celebrations. CEO Ken Murphy highlighted the expectation that people will opt for home gatherings over dining out, mirroring the sentiments of consumers like Robyn Asher, who expressed the preference for hosting at home for a more relaxed atmosphere and cost-effective wine options.


Despite an overall slowdown in champagne sales in 2023, James Simpson, managing director of Pol Roger, anticipates strong sales over Christmas. Even with a decline of 9% in champagne sales this year in the UK, Britons remain enthusiastic about indulging in festive bubbly.


In France, shoppers are looking to reduce overall Christmas spending, with a particular emphasis on cutting back on gifts. Carrefour is responding with low-priced offerings, such as a €0.99 chocolate advent calendar, part of its strategy to attract cost-conscious shoppers with 60 new own-brand Christmas food products.

Supermarkets across Europe are expanding their ranges of own-brand alternatives, responding to consumer behaviors shaped by economic challenges. McKinsey research indicates that a significant majority (78%) of consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK are opting for cheaper products or turning to lower-priced retailers.

Polish supermarket chain Biedronka offers own-brand chocolates and sweets at least 20% cheaper than big-brand alternatives, while Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn has increased its premium “AH Excellent” range with 200 holiday products this year. In Portugal, Pingo Doce introduced new items in its “Iguarias” (delicacies) range, including a meat, chestnut, and vegetable puff pastry starter and truffle crackers.

As families navigate economic challenges, the trend toward embracing home-cooked celebrations and opting for budget-friendly own-brand options reflects a resilient spirit in the face of financial constraints. The festive season becomes an opportunity for creativity and indulgence within the comforts of home.



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