Total sales were 5.8% higher than last year. A cooler week than this time last year prompted stronger sales of warming food. For example shoppers bought 13% more soups, 15% more frozen chips and 34% more pasta and pasta sauces.In a week which saw Austria win the Eurovision Song Contest, Austrian wine was also the top sales performer in our wine showcase. Wines from the country saw a massive 390% increase in sales as shoppers gave some of the lesser known wine producing countries a try.
The next best performing countries in the wine showcase were Portugal, with 163% higher sales, and England and Wales, which saw growth of 144%.
And we also saw strong sales of party snacks, suggesting many were entertaining at the weekend - possibly with a Eurovision party. Shoppers bought 18% more tortilla crisps, 37% more dips, 20% more hand cooked sharing bags of crisps and 10% more snacking nuts. We also sold 19% more party food pasty crowns and 20% more mini pizzas.
This week is Coeliac Awareness Week, so we have been highlighting our Free From ranges in shops. Sales of Free From options have been increasing for some time as shoppers become more familiar with our ranges - and sales for last week were up by 58%.
The week saw the launch of a new online wine site, Waitrose Cellar - with a focus on offering advice and expertise to customers. The site is part of a current focus on developing our multichannel offer and features tasting videos for 150 of our top selling wines, detailed tasting notes, regional guides and recommendations, and access to Waitrose wine specialists.
Everyone who works at Waitrose owns Waitrose, and that's why we care a little more.
Fresh, quality food is at the heart of what we do. As Waitrose partners, we want to know where our food comes from, how it’s been produced and what it contains.
It all starts with long-term relationships with our farmers and suppliers, and continues with our beliefs in championing British produce, supporting responsible sourcing, treating people fairly and treading lightly on the environment. This is the Waitrose Way.
But it doesn’t stop there. With your help in branch and online, our Community Matters scheme has donated £14 million to local charities chosen by you. The Waitrose Foundation is a partnership we created in 2005 to help improve the lives of the farm workers and smallholders who grow our produce in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana. The Waitrose Foundation is just one example of how we work in partnership with our suppliers to build sustainable relationships, helping our customers get the best possible food and drink.