The convenience sector can benefit from a boost of almost £300m a week during hot weather, according to new figures.
Among the biggest potential growth areas are barbecue meats (up 300%), salad (lettuce up 230%, baby plum tomatoes up 375%), summer fruits (strawberries up 43%, raspberries 150%) and alfresco foods.
The figures come from the Co-operative’s grocery arm which has just published its latest report into the c-store sector.
It said: “In-depth analysis reveals that the weather really does lead to high street sale peaks and troughs. The hotter it gets the more Brits shop for food and drink, while a dip in temperatures decreases sales – a variance of up to 10%.”
With the overall UK food sector being worth £2.9bn a week, that equates to an extra £290m.
Ravi Kaushal, of Premier Burlington News, Chiswick, west London, said: “Sales have been going up this year as the weather has got warmer. The warm weather brings more people out and it brings them into stores. They’re definitely more thirsty and they’ll buy more drinks.”
The report also states that London is the fastest-growing area of the c-store sector, with those living in the capital planning their evening meal less than any other part of the UK, and more buying their evening meals on the way home from work.
Retailer Kay Patel, of Global Food & Wine, Stratford, east London, said: “As a consumer, I’m using c-stores more and more myself and we’ve definitely seen growth in people buying meals for the evening on the day.
“It’s also down to the offering. C-stores such as ours have a much better selection now, while you look at people like the Co-op, their offering used to be rubbish but it’s a lot better now.”