Waitrose customers hit by cost of living crisis snap up spam and fish heads

Split image. Left image: Waitrose and Partners logo. Right image: Fish head.
Waitrose has noticed a boom in the number of its customers purchasing fish heads. Credit: Waitrose/PA

Sales of spam and fish heads are both up by a third at upmarket Waitrose in an apparent shift to economy buying in the face of the cost of living crisis.

The supermarket said the “use-it-all trend” and move to cheaper slow-cooking seemed to be behind sales of beef shin, ox cheek, and lamb neck increasing by 23%, 9% and 4% respectively.

Sales of fish heads are up by an “incredible” 34% on last year while spam sales rose by 36%, according to the annual Waitrose Food & Drink report.

A poll for the supermarket found that 72% of consumers are now “more mindful” about their grocery budget, and more than a third were “very concerned” about how the rising cost of living will affect them in the coming months.

Some 32% said they looked out for special offers more than ever before and 27% have taken to planning their meals in advance.

Waitrose executive director James Bailey said: “The events of the last year have created a difficult backdrop for many people and like all supermarkets we’ve had to judge the mood and react.

He added: “We’re seeing some big changes.”

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However, it appears not to be all doom and gloom for Waitrose customers.

A total 46% of those surveyed said they were buying more sweet treats this year.

The grocer listing custard tarts, eclairs and cappuccino mousse as its top three best selling desserts. Sales of whipped feta also rose by 33% over the summer.