Shoppers dashed to supermarkets to make last-minute Christmas purchases as weekly sales growth peaked in the week ending 25 December.
Brits splashed out £14bn on Christmas products over the three month festive period, according to data from NielsenIQ.
Sales growth for the period surpassed initial forecasts from NielsenIQ analysts, who predicted sales would grow to £6.8bn, up from £6.7bn in 2020.
Weekly sales growth at UK stores peaked at 14.8 per cent in the week leading up to Christmas Day as shoppers chose to make trips to physical stores.
Total till grocery sales grew one per cent over the four weeks to 1 January 2022, a strong performance against tough comparatives during the same period last year.
Brits flocked to physical stores for last minute essentials in the fortnight leading up to the big day.
This meant there were 27m more in-store visits during this four week period compared to 2020, causing the online share of grocery sales to drop to 11.3 per cent, compared to 12.1 per cent in December 2020.
This was the lowest online share since the 11.6 per cent of April 2020, amid the country’s first national Covid lockdown.
Brits spent 8.7 per cent more on Christmas categories this Christmas, when compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Soft drinks sales boomed, with growth of 14.5 per cent compared with 2019, and up 9.4 per cent in 2020.
Other items to surge in popularity amid the party season included chilled baguettes (18 per cent), fresh trifle (eight per cent) and fresh sausage rolls (seven per cent) increasing in sales in the four week period ending 1 January 2022.
Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “Omnichannel purchasing, shopping around, and entertaining at home were the big shopping trends over the festive period.
“All retailers had more shoppers than this time last year and most had more visits, even if spend per visit was a little lower at just over £21.
“British consumers are continuing to adopt an omnichannel approach and whilst online allows them to plan ahead, shoppers are increasingly heading in-store for a regular weekly shop as well as for last-minute purchases and we can expect this behaviour to continue.”