Co-op crunches the numbers of its most recent Christmas best-sellers and festive trends

Central England Co-op has revealed some of its best-selling products and Christmas shopping habits in recent years as its customers stock up for a much-awaited Christmas in 2021.

New research conducted by the Society involving over 260 food stores spread across 16 counties has found the best-selling items across the festive season last year as shoppers prepared for a very different Christmas under lockdown restrictions.

Mince pies were once again the popular festive treat; however, the data shows an unusual quirk in 2020. Sales in previous years have remained flat but last year there was a spike in sales around December 10 with sales much higher than ever before.

There was also a big growth in Co-op Free From Mince Pies, showing an increase of 80% year on year.

In beers, wines and spirits, it was beer, lager and ciders that were top sellers in 2020, up 28.7% year on year with Henry Westons Vintage Cider the biggest seller with 29,000 cases sold.

Gins popularity continued to soar, up 6.2% year on year with shoppers preferring to go large last year with the Co-op London Dry Gin up 48.5%, while the smaller version was down 11.2%.

The data suggests shoppers were looking to enjoy some cheese and biscuits as a festive treat last Christmas with sales of cheeses up 6.1% and Co-op Irresistible Biscuits for Cheeses up 10.7%. Co-op Somerset Brie was one of the biggest growers in cheeses up 26.2%.

Shoppers also appeared to make sure they were well prepared for the inevitable need for batteries on Christmas Day for all those new toys last year, with sales up 20%.

Co-op’s premium Irresistible range saw growth in 2020, with wines showing particular popularity with Co-op Irresistible Prosecco again the Christmas tipple of choice up again slightly on the previous year with 24,500 bottles sold.

Co-op Irresistible Bio Bio Valley Malbec was a strong grower in 2020, up 500 bottles year on year, a rise of 50%.

This Christmas, any purchase made in the retailer’s 263 food stores of products from its Irresistible range will see Central England Co-op donate to FareShare Midlands to help families struggling in these uncertain times with the aim to hit a target of 500,000 meals created by the campaign.

Among the delicious Irresistible products available this festive period are deals such as the brand new Co-op Irresistible Millionaire Cookies and Co-op Irresistible Cranberry and Clementine Cookies available 2 for £2 (8-14 December).

Marta Foley, customer analytics manager at Central England Co-op, said: “The research shows that our customers and members are keen to enjoy the Christmas period with seasonal favourites and products that suit the time of year and after a challenging 2021 we expect shoppers to want to enjoy Christmas with comforting and familiar festive offerings.

“We are stocking our stores with lots of festive treats, as well as some great new products to appeal to customers wanting to try something different, while ensuring that those important everyday items that remain popular all year around are still readily available.”

Central England Co-op members can enjoy some special festive deals just for them this Christmas with 50p off brand new Co-op Irresistible Bourbon and Bitter Orange Mince Pies and Co-op Matured Christmas puddings.

There is also a wide range of gifting, floral and horticulture options available for shoppers, including potted Christmas trees, festive bouquets and unique gift ideas.