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Supermarkets Beer Up Under Consumers’ Xmas Demands

Supermarkets Beer Up Under Consumers’ Christmas Demands

ACNielsen New Zealand Takes A Close Look At Christmas 2000

Auckland, 13 March 2001 – Christmas revenues hit an all time high for supermarkets in 2000, according to ACNielsen New Zealand, up $27.6 million or 5 percent on last year’s Christmas sales.*
Beer was the star performer, making up 25 percent of extra sales.
“The number of shopping days available to consumers also had a considerable impact. In 2000, consumers had Saturday* and Sunday to prepare for the Monday Christmas day, so were able to take time to shop rather than rushing through the shopping list,” says Richard Knight, ACNielsen New Zealand.
“Other factors influencing the spike in supermarket revenues include high temperatures, an economic outlook at a two year high and the increasing food price index,”
“With up to 10 percent of annual revenues earned during this four week period, Christmas is a critical period for retailers,” added Mr Knight.

Winners and losers
With over 330 supermarket categories measured by ACNielsen, the top 20 categories contributed 49 percent of total supermarket scanned sales.
Star performer products responded to the consumer demand for convenience shopping. Beer and wine sales had a huge impact again in supermarkets, contributing 37 percent of extra sales for December 2000.* Of this, 25 percent of extra sales were in beer.
“This is most likely due to a convenience-driven channel-switch from traditional liquor retail outlets to supermarkets, rather than increased consumption per se,” says Mr Knight. “Also, the 2000 December month was the hottest December we’ve had in the last four years. This has definitely contributed to increases in carbonated beverages, fruit juices and ice cream consumption, as did heavy promotional activity from manufacturers and the introduction of premium products in these categories. Other temperature-influenced winners were sunning preparations and insecticides.”
Other categories showing marked sales increases offered innovation to consumers.
Toothbrushes were the single largest category increase at a stunning 56.8 percent increase on 1999 sales, worth $733,000. Much of this increase was due to the popularity of dentist-recommended electric toothbrushes. Another significant increase was prepared dips, which increased some 35 percent, valued at $360,000. Prepared dips such as hummus are now everyday shopping items for many households.

How Christmas 2000 compares with Christmas 1999
Christmas 1999 was huge for retailers with the combined effects of the Millennium celebrations, Y2K provisioning and America’s Cup fever, making the increase for Christmas 2000 even more extraordinary.
In 1999 28 percent of our Christmas dollars were spent after 5pm and this number shrank to 22 percent in 2000 because of the increased number of pre-Christmas shopping days leading up to Christmas**.
Categories that had stellar performances in 1999 but dropped off in 2000 included Y2K categories such as bottled water, batteries, and some canned foods. Supermarkets sold less sparkling wine this Christmas period than last. However, last year’s sales were likely fuelled by reports that champagne supplies were low due to millennium celebration demands.

About ACNielsen
ACNielsen, with 1999 revenue of $1.5 billion, is the world’s leading market research firm, offering measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics, consumer attitudes and behaviour, and new and traditional media in more than 100 countries. Clients include leading consumer product manufacturers, retailers and service firms, media and entertainment companies and the Internet community.

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