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Christmas food and drink bill set to reach £19bn

Christmas food and drink bill set to reach £19bn

Shoppers across the UK are set to spend a total of £19 billion on food and drink over the course of the Christmas period, according to new figures.

The grocery think tank IGD claims that seasonal spending on food will increase by 3.9 per cent compared to last year, when tills across the country took £18.3 billion.

The body's research suggested that consumers are willing to dedicate an increased amount of time this festive period on finding the very best value-for-money deals.

Over half (58 per cent) of researchers told researchers that they were planning to shop around more than they did with last year.

More than a third (38 per cent) of shoppers said that they planned to use discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl in which to do their festive shop.

A preference for discounts was especially prevalent among many families with children under the age of five, with over half (53 per cent) claiming that they were keen to shop at a cheaper retailer.

A further 41 per cent of respondents also said that they were planning on making a conscious effort to secure the best quality products.

IGD's chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch, said that the news of improvements in the country's economy had helped to restore much of the confidence among consumers.

She said: “While people remain cautious, the trickle of recent positive economic news is helping to improve confidence.

“Seven-out-of-10 (72 per cent) shoppers plan to spend more or about the same on their groceries this Christmas compared with last year. This is up from 64 per cent who said the same in 2011.”

She added that many retailers had made more of an effort to try and improve the experiences of shoppers, while also boosting their footfall.

“We’ve seen more imaginative merchandising, greater use of fresh food counters and an increase in ‘click and collect’ services, which can help time-pressed festive shoppers to order their groceries online and collect at a time convenient to them."


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