Convenience staple products re-take their pre-pandemic territory

Mark A. Carlson

In a survey for The Grocer’s top products 2022, the analyst found that traditional convenience store favourites topped the list this year.

They included carbonated drinks (up £264m), sport and energy drinks (up £251m) and bagged snacks (up £229m).

Coca-Cola (up £90m), Monster energy drink (up £81m) and Red Bull (up £76.5m) were some of the fastest-growing products this year.

With a shift away from at-home dining and socialising, the data also indicated that spirits (down £752.5m), wine (down £615m) and lager (down £575m) were the fastest falling categories in 2022.

This is a direct contrast to data last year in which these were among the fastest growing.

With less time cooking from scratch at home, vegetables (down £456m) and fresh meat (down £347m) experienced a decline, with beef (down £134m), potatoes (down £91m) and bacon (down £75m) the fastest falling products in these categories.

Categories that enjoyed growth included pet care, with an 11.7% uplift in value sales compared with 2021.

The biggest riser of all was vaping, up £435m, with Elf up £318m as the fastest-growing product.

Rachel White, managing director UK & Ireland at NielsenIQ, said: “The UK this year returned to more normal patterns of behaviour, from being able to socialise with friends and family without restrictions, to venturing into the office more frequently.

“This has naturally led to a shift in the types of products in shoppers’ baskets to reflect consumers’ busier lifestyles, as well as a rise in demand for more convenience items, such as sports and energy drinks and bagged snacks.

“This may have also led to a decline in at-home cooking occasions, with many fresh items falling out of favour.”

White added that shopping little and often had also made a comback and that this trend is likely to continue.

She added: “As we enter 2023, we anticipate that consumers will become more cautious in what they buy, both economically and sustainably to cut down food waste, such as a focus on buying less fresh groceries but more often, as well as value packs.”

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