A special celebration: 1950’s favourites are set to top the baskets for Jubilee weekend, finds the Co-op

Co-op’s Jubilee Convenience Report shows that the nation is set to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee with retro favourites from the 1950’s. 

Meringue nests, ice cream cones, golden syrup, jam are all expected to be on buffet tables with cakes set to be big sellers and expected to have a sales uplift of up to 20 per cent.  Families and communities will be tucking into a Victoria Sponge Cake to mark the historic occasion with sales expected to be up as much as 75 per cent.  

If the temperature spikes, the retailer expects to see people switch to ice cream rather than cake, selling three times as many frozen treats over the bank holiday weekends, with sales of sales of ice lollies expected to go through the roof with an increase of as much as 150 per cent. 

1953 saw the end of rations on sweets so there was a transition from loose sweets in jars, chosen from the sweetshop, to packets of wrapped sweets, as seen in grocery stores. Some of the retro sweets are still the most popular today, with 3m bags of wine gums being sold in the last year*, 1.2m bags of liquorice allsorts, 600,000 packets of Bon Bons and 500,000 bags of rhubarb and custards. 

It’s estimated that 39 million adults will be doing something to celebrate, with 4.1 million families celebrating the joyous milestone by attending a street party. However, one third (34%) of 16- to 24-year-olds will be taking advantage of the moment to celebrate with their friends, and a quarter (24%) of people aged 55 and over plan to watch the Platinum Jubilee on TV**. 

Whilst a quarter of Brits will be opting for a quintessential afternoon tea (21%) or a popular picnic (11%), some will be opting for a less traditional route this year as 31 per cent are planning to host a BBQ to mark the occasion. Loose tea would’ve been the traditional drink 70 years ago, consumers aren’t ones to miss an opportunity to celebrate in style so will be raising glass of Fizz, with sales of English Sparkling wine set to double. 

Matt Hood, co-managing director of Co-op Food, said: “Over the last 70 years, shopping habits have changed significa ntly but particularly due to the pandemic, our behaviours are mirroring those from the 1950’s more and more. As one of the longest standing grocery retailers, we’re uniquely placed to serve our customers and members throughout these moments in time and witness this next historical milestone.” 

The survey also revealed that an estimated 3.7 million will wear red, white, and blue pieces clothing to mark the Platinum Jubilee, alongside Union Jack adorned accessories. The age group dressing up the most is 16-24 year olds as 88 per cent of those surveyed said they’ll be getting in the spirit. 

Kate Williams, British historian and author, said: “The Coronation was an amazingly exciting day and Britain, still recovering from the dark days of World War II lit up in celebration. Food was at the heart of these celebrations as many were coming off long ration periods, which was perfect timing for families to be able to indulge in their favourite treats. This year, patriotic spirit is already gripping the nation as we gear up for thousands of street parties and celebrations stretching the length and breadth of the country and it will be an emotional moment to watch how the nation decides to celebrate.”