“E-cigarettes and sports nutrition products lead grocery sales boost”
E-cigarettes were the fastest-growing product in British supermarkets last year as consumers shrugged off the controversy over vaping.
Sales of electronic cigarettes – or vapourisers – across the largest grocers rose 49.5% in 2014, despite clamour from health groups to ban the devices. However, the vaping boom could not offset a dire year for Britain’s supermarkets as Britons were expected to spend 0.7% less in the aisles this year, at £145bn.
At the other end of the health spectrum, sports nutrition products proved nearly as popular, with sales of fitness-boosting drinks, shakes and bars posting growth of more than 40%. Changing consumer tastes saw old-fashioned staples such as bread (-8.9%) and soup (-7.9%) suffer the biggest annual decline in sales volumes. Meanwhile, the burgeoning “free from” food category – appealing to consumers wanting dairy-free and gluten-free products – went from niche to mainstream, with sales topping £0.5bn for the first time after volumes swelled by 15%.
The changing purchasing trends in Britain’s 10 largest supermarkets, excluding discounters Aldi and Lidl, were revealed in a report by market research company Nielsen.The Guardian