Consumer spend reaches €1.8B in grocery sales for Christmas 2023

NielsenIQ data reveals a contrasting trend as champagne sales dipped by 3% while cream liqueurs experienced a double-digit growth

Own label volume grew
+3% compared to brands at -0.7% (Photo by Joonas Kääriäinen via Pexels)

The latest grocery sales data from NielsenIQ Ireland shows consumer spend reaching record levels over Christmas 2023, with Shoppers spending €1.8 billion across all grocery channels in December.  This marks Christmas 2023 as the biggest Christmas spend on record. 

Cream liqueurs posted double digit sales growth in both value and volume.  With an average price point per bottle of around half that of spirits, cream liqueurs offer an affordable luxury and a Christmas treat both for consumption and gifting. Champagne unit sales declined by -3% with more affordable sparkling wines such as Cava & Prosecco increased in unit sales by +2%.

During the eight weeks ending December 31, 2023, grocery sales in Ireland increased by 4.4% compared to 2022, with a +0.4% rise in volume sales— a recovery from the -4.4% decline in 2022.

Ruth Lloyd-Evans from NielsenIQ notes a notable drop in price inflation to 3.9% this Christmas, compared to the challenging +11.6% rate in 2022. Factors like easing commodity price inflation and strategic promotions contributed to a more affordable holiday season.

Despite the usual prominence of brands, retailer own label volume grew by +3%, outpacing brands at -0.7%. Shoppers opted for own label products to balance budgets.

Promotions played a key role, with the proportion of items sold at a promoted price increasing by almost 3%, constituting 29% of all grocery items.

Chocolate tubs were a Christmas favourite, with over five million sold across Ireland in November and December 2023—nearly three tubs per household.

Chilled ready meals and affordable treats like biscuits and crackers performed well, offering convenience and cost-effective alternatives. 

Christmas 2023 saw reduced price inflation, a return to volume growth, and calculated spending by shoppers. 

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