A bout of unusually hot weather in early September helped hike grocery sales at UK supermarkets, with total till sales surging 10.3 per cent in the last four weeks ending 9 September.
According to data from NIQ, the figure rose up from 7.2 per cent during the wet July and early August, which deterred shoppers and hindered summer BBQ and picnic plans.
During the sunny four weeks a total of £172m was spent on fresh poultry, with value sales in chicken thighs and drumsticks rising 28 per cent.
End of summer clearances and back to school promotions also led to an uplift in volume sales for general merchandise items, rising 1.7 per cent as shoppers were offered “one-off bargains” at most of the big supermarkets.
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at NIQ said: “There are some improvements showing in shopper sentiment as inflation continues to slow and there is now a growth in real incomes.”
It is the latest sign that the cost of living pressures that customers face at the till are starting to ease slightly.
Late last month, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed that food inflation fell to 11.6 per cent in August, down from 14.3 per cent in July.
However, chief of the BRC Helen Dickinson warned that Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and its targeting of Ukrainian grain facilities could serve as potential roadblocks to lower inflation.
In terms of retailer performance across a 12 week period, NIQ figures show that German discounters Aldi and Lidl are continuing to outperform traditional UK grocers.
Sales growth at the both groups reached 19.6 per cent and 16.6 per cent respectively, as their low price strategy continues to win with consumers under the cosh.
M&S, which one in three UK households shopped in during the month, reached sales growth of 11.8 per cent as it was bolstered by the opening of its new food halls across the country.
Watkins added: “Retailers are keen to pass on price cuts as inflation continues to slow. However, they also need to make sure that messages resonate with price conscious consumers, as for some, their discretionary spending power is still limited.
“We know there is a polarisation of purchasing power with 44 per cent of households impacted only a little or not at all by increased cost of living yet 56 per cent of households are moderately or severely affected, leaving them budgeting carefully.”
“The good news is that FMCG volumes are starting to improve against the declines of last year so we expect Total Till growth to be around seven per cent in quarter four and volume growth at food retailers in December.”