The Nectar360 Seasonal Insights Review is back. In this edition, we cover Christmas and the cost of living crisis. In the run-up to Christmas 2022, consumers faced a challenging economic situation. This had a noticeable impact on shopping behaviour. Customers were still keen to celebrate Christmas but focused on spending less.


of customers stated they would be likely to try and save money this year. This is down from 81% in May


of customers said that the cost of living crisis was top of mind this Christmas


of customers expect their personal finances to worsen over the next 6 months


state their current financial position prevents them from buying healthier foods


struggle to get to the end of the month for payday


regularly check the price per unit when shopping


check prices online to see which retailer is cheapest

Source: Grocery Tracker 2 (~800 respondents, tracked from Feb’21)

Changing shopping habits

Customers carry on cutting back

The cost of living crisis continues to be on customers’ minds as they shop.  To stick to their budget, they’re prioritising essentials like milk, bread and cheese and reducing their overall basket size.


Fresh & Grocery Categories Sales – Change YoY

Source: Total Fresh & Grocery | 12 weeks to 31/12/2022 YoY | Nectar & EPOS data

Shoppers are also changing the way they cook to ease the impact of inflation; unit sales of airfryers more than tripled YoY, especially around Black Friday and Christmas.

Source: Air & Health Fryer Sales – Argos | 12 weeks to 31/12/2022 YoY | EPOS data



As we see customers continue to trade down, we should focus on how we can help them budget.



Savvy celebrations

Saving on the cost of Christmas

Despite money concerns, shoppers were determined to still celebrate Christmas but make it more affordable.

Customers were on the lookout for promotions. We saw increased interest in BWS (Beer, Wine, Spirits) stunt deals and lower-priced health and beauty gift sets. Suppliers could target this desire to shop promotions with lower-value event propositions.


Christmas categories Unit Change YoY

Christmas Categories

Source: Christmas Favourites | 2 weeks to 24/12/2022 YoY | Nectar Data & EPOS

This Christmas we saw shoppers prioritise the main meal over luxury items and ask guests to contribute.  They also reduced the number of gifts purchased.

Turkey was still the most popular choice, but some chose less traditional mains like gammon, pork or meat-free alternatives.


All Year-Round Gifting Sales Growth by Price Point

Source: Total All Year Round Gifting | 2 weeks to 24/12/2022 YoY | EPOS data

Confidence in convenience

Food-on-the-go grows

Convenience is in growth due to shoppers making on-the-go trips and moving instore to better manage their budgets. Food-to-go items are more popular as customers return to working from offices. Customers are purchasing crisps, sandwiches, carbonated drinks and coffee to-go, bringing strong growth in convenience. It will likely continue to grow as more people return to offices and seek quick food options.

Source: Total Fresh & Grocery | 12 weeks to 31/12/2022 YoY | Nectar & EPOS data

Source: Total Fresh & Grocery | 12 weeks to 31/12/2022 YoY | Nectar & EPOS data

Customers reduced the cost of Christmas by budgeting, reducing spending and prioritising.

They stretched their budgets by shopping around, researching prices and using Sainsbury’s SmartShop. We’ve seen basket sizes shrink, as customers shop on a budget. Food-to-go categories have boosted growth in convenience as more people work from offices.



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