Blog: Dean BestComfort eating

Dean Best | 18 February 2009

As recession in the UK batters consumer sentiment, it seems that many shoppers are seeking comfort in their childhood favourites.

Posting impressive fourth-quarter sales gains of 7.2% yesterday (17 February), Asda – the UK’s second-largest supermarket – said that nostalgia shopping had boosted sales.

Unlike its rivals, who have seen consumers “trading down” to private label, Asda said branded food sales jumped 10%, outpacing own label growth of 8%.

The strongest branded gains came from traditional UK favourite Fray Bentos, up 41%. Other “old favourites” that witnessed impressive growth included Bisto gravy and Bird’s custard, both up 20%.

This news is sure to bring a little cheer to heavily indebted Premier Foods, who owns all three iconic British brands.

Asda isn’t the only UK retailer looking to cash in on the wave of nostalgia apparently sweeping the nation.

Upmarket rival Marks and Spencer has expanded its RTE lunch line-up with the addition of a 75 pence strawberry jam sandwich.

M&S is hoping that the jam sammy, part of its new 'Simply . . .’ range, will entice shoppers seeking low-priced comfort food.

And on that note, I’m off to have some fish fingers followed by Angel Delight while I wait out the recession.

Katy Humphries, Deputy Editor


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