Sales of fish heads and spam skyrocket as Waitrose shoppers feel the bite of the cost of living crisis

20 October 2022, 10:20

Sales of fish heads and spam have soared at Waitrose
Sales of fish heads and spam have soared at Waitrose. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Sales of fish heads and spam have skyrocketed as the cost of living crisis bites, with supermarket bosses finding customers are fearful of how their wallets will be hit over winter.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Almost three-quarters of customers are now "more mindful" about how much they can stretch for their food shop, with Waitrose finding in its annual report that more than a third are worried about impending costs.

Rising shopping bills are going to be worsened by increased energy costs, which are still higher than before despite the Government's energy price guarantee scheme.

Waitrose said that fish head sales have gone up 34% while spam is up by 36%.

Its 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.

Read more: Truss insists she's 'completely committed' to triple lock pension pledge as inflation pushed back up to double figures

"We're seeing some big changes."

The report also found that 32% of customers look out for special offers more than before.

Consumers are facing the highest rate of grocery price inflation every recorded.

Spam sales have risen sharply at Waitrose
Spam sales have risen sharply at Waitrose. Picture: Alamy

The average household could see an extra £643 on their annual bill, taking it to £3,265 if they keep their shopping habits and continue to buy the same goods.

One in five now buy loose vegetables to save cash while 23% have turned to "own-brand" items.

And 39% of respondents are using their freezer more to cut waste and save money.

Read more: Asda enters convenience store war: Supermarket announces 30 new 'Express' shops

Mr Bailey added: "As customers' budgets are squeezed, making sure you don't waste the food you do buy will become more important."

However, customers appear to have turned more to the treat aisle than before.

A total of 30% said they were buying more desserts, with custard tarts, eclairs and the cappuccino mousse among the most popular.

Waitrose shoppers are feeling the pinch
Waitrose shoppers are feeling the pinch. Picture: Alamy

Inflation was reported as surging to double figures again earlier this week.

In July, inflation reached a 40 year high of 10.1% before easing slightly in August, to 9.9% as a result of falling petrol prices.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show it crept up again in September to 10.1%.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Prince William has called for an end to the Israel-Hamas war

Israel says Gaza war will only end when 'Hamas is dismantled' in direct reply to Prince William’s intervention

The Security Council meets before voting on a resolution concerning a ceasefire in Gaza at United Nations headquarters

US vetoes UN resolution demanding immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

Palestinian crowds struggle to buy bread from a bakery in Rafah, Gaza Strip

UN World Food Programme suspends aid amid chaos in northern Gaza

David Neal has been sacked by the Home Office

Home Office fires immigration chief inspector David Neal after claims about security risks at major London airport

Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Gabriela was fired from her job cleaning at Devonshires

Cleaner ‘fired after taking leftover £1.50 tuna sandwich’ speaks out against ‘unfair bosses’ as protesters target law firm

Before this announcement, Tesco only showed unit pricing on normal prices and not their special Clubcard prices.

Tesco announce big change to how it displays Clubcard prices - and it could save you money

Russian defector Maksim Kuzminov at a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, in September 2023

Spanish police suspect bullet-riddled body may be that of Russian who defected

Russia Ukraine War Putin’s Game

Zelensky says Russia ‘taking advantage’ of delays in assistance to Ukraine

Kristina Rihanoff claims Robin Windsor was in ‘excruciating pain’ before his sudden death

'May you dance with the angels': Robin Windsor's Strictly partner says dancer was in ‘excruciating pain’ before death

A man walks along the Naviglio Pavese canal shrouded in mist and smog in Milan, Italy

Milan imposes anti-smog measures during bout of bad air pollution

28-year-old Valeria Amorim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pregnant woman killed after car crashes into group of people

Half of the Body Shop's UK stores are being closed

Body Shop to close half of its UK stores: Full list of stores shutting immediately

Now the 39-year-old is attempting to take his share and says that it was his idea to buy the scratch card.

Woman who bagged £1m lotto prize dumped boyfriend weeks later 'out of the blue' - but now he wants 'his' share

Police searching the River Soar in Leicester for a missing two-year-old boy have recovered CCTV footage

'He just disappears into the water': Police searching River Soar in Leicester for missing two-year-old find CCTV

The prime minister said that £220 million will be put into new food productivity schemes, farm technology and automation in the next financial year, to "reduce reliance on overseas workers."

'I have your back': Rishi Sunak praises farmers at NFU conference as he announces new £220m funding