Shoppers have increased their purchases of alcohol, toilet rolls and flour as tighter coronavirus restrictions loom and the 10pm pub curfew kicks in, according to industry data.
Figures from Kantar showed consumers spent £261m more on alcohol to drink at home – compared to last year – in September, a period that also came after the end of the Eat Out To Help Out discount dining-out scheme.
The report also said the seven days from 21 to 27 September saw 107 million trips to supermarkets, the busiest period since March.
Sales of toilet roll climbed by 64% and flour by 73% during the week though Kantar said it represented only “limited evidence” of stockpiling.
The number of shopping visits was well below the 175 million seen just prior to the initial lockdown earlier this year.
Kantar’s figures also showed take-home grocery sales were up 10.6% in the four weeks to 4 October compared to the same period last year.
The surge in online sales during the pandemic also continued – with growth of 76%, including a 41.9% rise for Ocado, boosted by its new tie-up with Marks & Spencer.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Shoppers are moving a greater proportion of their eating and drinking back into the home.
“This is likely a response to rising Covid-19 infection rates, greater restrictions on opening hours in the hospitality sector, and the end of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.”
Details of the spike in supermarket visits come after outgoing Tesco boss Dave Lewis recently urged customers not to stockpile goods.
Tesco and Morrisons introduced restrictions on key products for the first time since the spring – when panic-buying had left shelves in many stores empty.