WAITROSE, the upmarket supermarket chain owned by John Lewis, said shoppers stocking up their pantries with Christmas staples helped drive sales up 7.8 per cent in the week to 1 December.
Heston Blumenthal-branded Mulled Cider Gammon and Cropwell Bishop Potted Blue Stilton were among the best-sellers, with sales of the latter up 34.5 per cent.
The supermarket group also claimed that “a year of patriotic events” increased demand for English and Welsh fizz by 30 per cent in the last week.
The festivities also helped boost internet sales up by 58.2 per cent during the last week of November.
But Waitrose’s surging online presence continues to raise doubts over the future of online grocer Ocado, which also sells Waitrose-branded products.
Waitrose has been rapidly building its online operations since ending its non-compete clause with Ocado last summer.